Bird trouble in Brassica land

Lately, I have been feeling a bit of frustration in regards to a kale seed crop.

It looked like it was just about ready to harvest, but up close …

… the dry and not so dry pods had already been chomped by somebody. Though, no secret who the culprits are. Whenever I come around to this seed plot, a flock of mourning doves and sparrows scatter.

This is the first year I am faced with this fowl situation. I wonder if part of the problem is that this seed plot is in one of the more wild parts of the field.

The seed plot in the middle of the picture is surrounded

  • to the right by a red clover cover crop,
  • to the left and behind by an oat and vetch cover crop,
  • and in front by weeds that have reclaimed after the brassica rapas were harvested.

Not to mention the windbreak and ditch 60ft to the right. I think the birds feel quite protected away from prying eyes.

Caitlyn, our farm apprentice, wondered if netting might solve the problem in the future. Blueberry nets might be a good investment. We could also use them on the blueberry plants we’re currently establishing.

If indeed part of the problem is the abundant vegetation, it might also be worth regularly mowing cover crops surrounding brassica plots.

I will probably cut the rest of crop down on Monday and see what I can salvage. Hopefully, I have only lost a good half of the yield and not more.

Any other suggestions to keep birds away? Or sad seedy stories to tell?

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