Avian Control bird repellent

Nici De Beer

Harvest Protection

Avian Control Bird Repellent

There is no doubt that farming is a sector affected by so many risk factors — weather, economy, volatile markets, disease and pests just to name a few challenges. While many problems are out of our control, some can be mitigated or at least reduced by certain measures. Unfortunately, often the only quick solution is a harsh, environmentally hazardous chemical or pesticide that can cause a biological imbalance or worse, can destroy friendly helpful allies in the process.

Birds pose a major threat to sustainability in vulnerable crops such as wheat, grapes, berries and sunflowers. Birds are intelligent creatures always searching for plentiful food, water sources and nesting grounds. Once they find this Utopia, moving them can become a massive challenge and managing your crop damage can be a nightmare.

Fortunately, there are management practices that can assist in preventing damage during a crop’s vulnerable stage. For example, birds prefer oats to wheat and if you plant oats near a wheat field, the birds will usually eat the oats seed first before flocking to the wheat field. Hopefully by this time the wheat has matured past its most vulnerable soft-dough stage.

Understanding bird behaviour and proactively combining several repelling tactics is the best way to combat bird damage and can be the difference between a good crop versus crop failure. One such product recently introduced into the South African market is Avian Control. Avian Control, a proven bird repellent developed in the USA, is an EPA-approved, food-grade, non-toxic repellent.

Its active ingredient, Methyl Anthranilate (MA), a naturally occurring substance found in oranges and some grape skins, stimulates and irritates a bird’s beak, eyes and throat causing discomfort. It is basically like tear gas for birds. When the bird leaves the treated area, the discomfort subsides.

Avian Control also carries an ultraviolet “footprint” that is visible to birds but invisible to humans. Therefore, through constant exposure, the birds will begin to associate a treated field (seeing the ultraviolet colour) with a tear gas experience and hopefully fly on, avoiding the field altogether. Because birds are creatures of habit, the aim of Avian Control is behaviour modification. Early application is key to training the birds to go elsewhere.

Often, flocks first send out “scout birds” to look for suitable feeding and breeding grounds. When the scout birds find what they’re looking for they return to fetch the flock and bring them to settle! That is why often you will notice only a few birds in the beginning then just a few days later there’s a sudden surge in numbers. Therefore, farmers need to be proactive in trying to rid their lands of the scout birds BEFORE the flock arrives.

Avian Control not only helps to discourage the scout birds from choosing your land but can also reduce damage during infestation as the birds should eat much less while trying to endure a “tear gas” experience and hopefully leave altogether to find other food sources nearby.

In farming, so much is out of our control, but with input as well as commodity prices reaching record highs this year, doing your part to keep pests out and maximising crop potential will yield returns!

For more info and sales contact your LAC-agent.

Fertex Group (Pty) Ltd. PO Box 135, Bergville 3350, KZN, RSA. www.fertex.co.za. info@fertex.co.za
REG. NO. L10444 ACT No. 36 of 1947 / WET Nr. 36 van 1947. Active Ingredient Methyl Anthranilate (MA) 20%