Birds are notorious for damaging corn crops throughout their growth. They affect the overall crop yield by persistently damaging the crop from seeding to harvest.
That’s why farmers are always looking for ways to keep birds away from their fields. If you are also searching for such methods, we have compiled the list of best tactics for you.
All you need to do is:
- Follow the best agronomic practices
- Use seed treatments
- Cover corn crop with netting
- Place visual deterrents
- Scare birds with sound
- Apply liquid repellants
- Utilize laser bird deterrents
Now let’s explore how and at which stage each method can help you prevent your corn crop. We have written a concise guide on how these methods can help you improve your crop yield.
Follow the Best Agronomic Practices
Birds are always in quest of food and they tend to explore corn crop for it. They start picking corn grains as soon as you sow them in the field. That’s why you have to take early precautions to safeguard your corn crop.
A good way to do so is by following the best agronomic practices.
This means you should plant corn deep into the soil to avoid bird damage. This will ensure that birds don’t reach corn seedlings and feed on them. Therefore, you should plant seeds in the soil at a minimum depth of one and a half inch.
Use Seed Treatments
Seed treatment is another way that is becoming popular among corn farmers. This is a method in which corn seeds are treated with a substance to ensure quality growth.
During this process chemical, physical, or biological agents are applied to corn seeds. This is a way to protect corn from possible diseases (fungal and bacterial), insects, and birds. The agents applied to seeds are normally nematicides, fungicides, or insecticides.
The good news is that there is also a bird repellent for corn.
This is an organic, bio-pesticide that acts as a protective coating. When birds eat corn seeds, it causes immediate, yet temporary, digestive distress. As a result, birds throw up the seeds and your corn crop will not be damaged.
The reason why we recommend this biopesticide is because it has proven very useful. Not only is this agent insoluble in water but also ultraviolet light-stable. The good thing is that it automatically biodegrades in the soil after 28 days.
Set Up Netting
This is a traditional solution that farmers have been using for decades. You can set up a net above your corn crop to keep the birds away.
When you use netting, it covers the crop and prevents birds from reaching it. However, this is a method that is considered expensive and intensively laborious. This can also hinder crop growth and cause farming issues if you have a large crop.
Place Visual Deterrents
This is one of the most commonly used and popular bird-repellent methods that has been in practice for centuries. When you place visual deterrents in your corn crop, birds think of them as predators.
Visual deterrents make the birds feel threatened and they don’t damage your crops. Some of the most commonly used visual deterrents are:
- Decoy predators
- Colorful reflectors
- Shiny streamers
- Wind socks
However, you should know that you have to regularly move these decoys. You need to rotate these objects every week or after a couple of days. Otherwise, the birds will not feel threatened by the decoys.
Use Noise Machines
Another good tactic that one can use to keep the birds away is using sound machines. In the old days, farmers used to beat drums to keep the birds away from their crops. Fortunately, there are now machines that can do the same for you.
Sound machines can make a variety of noises that will make birds feel threatened. You can use machines to produce:
- Bird distress calls
- Predatory bird calls
Whichever sound machine or noise you use, the primary function of making noise is the same. You should ensure that the sound is distressing birds and making them fly away.
The only drawback of using sound machines against birds is that some of them are also audible to human ears. Such machines can disturb your neighbors so you must consider this fact before buying one.
Apply Liquid Bird Repellent
One of many innovative bird repellent solutions is using liquids. This is a method that can keep the birds away from your corn crops for a long time.
All you need to do is spray the liquid on your corn crop. These are sticky chemicals that are harmless for plants but keep the birds away. When birds sit on the crop, the ingredients present in the spray cause irritation and pain to birds.
This forces the birds to fly away and keeps your corn crop safe.
Employ Laser Bird Deterrents
The latest technique that is getting popular among the farming community is laser technology. In fact, this is being used at a larger scale to keep the birds away from corn crops.
These are devices that you can set across your corn crop. The devices can produce laser beams in many colors and birds perceive these as a threat. Since these rays are moving constantly, they scare the birds away.
Birds tend to fly away when a laser approaches them and thus your crop remains damage-free.
Things to Keep in Mind before Using Bird Deterrents
Before you think about using a bird deterrent, you need to consider a few things. The use and application of bird repellent methods depend on your crop size and condition.
Timing Is Important
If you are trying to keep birds away, you should know that timing is everything. To safeguard your crop, you need to use deterrents as soon as you sow the seeds.
Therefore, you need to make a plan to prevent bird damage before you plant the seeds. You need to start with the right agronomic practices and seed treatment.
Don’t Rely Solely on Traditional Methods
A large number of farmers rely on traditional methods to keep the birds away. They use netting, visual decoys, and often sound devices to prevent their corn crop from birds. But we recommend you to use both traditional and modern bird repellent techniques.
Birds may become habituated to old tactics and you may need innovative solutions. That’s why we encourage you to use seed treatment and then place visual or sound deterrents.
There are plenty of ways to keep birds out of your corn crop. Seed treatment, setting up decoys and scarecrows, netting, and using sound devices are some of the most effective ways. However, using seed treatment agents is the best method if you want to improve your crop yield.