14 Apr 2009

Research to reduce minimise bird damage to crops

6:51 am on 14 April 2009

A new research project is looking to minimise bird damage to arable crops, by understanding bird behaviour.

The Foundation for Arable Research will work on the project with Landcare Research, with a grant from the Sustainable Farming Fund.

FAR says introduced birds such as house sparrows and greenfinches do significant damage to cereal, brassica and oil seed crops every year. In some areas it's so bad that farmers can't grow those crops.

Foundation chief executive Nick Pyke says birds cause an estimated $15 - $30 million damage per year to cereal crops alone.

He says the study will include the extent of areas that birds cover and their flight patterns and it's likely a combination of solutions will be needed to stop the birds from damaging the crops.