9 Jun 2010

New types of grasses being used to keep birds away

6:41 am on 9 June 2010

Grasslanz Technology is confident that commercial production of new types of grasses, will significantly reduce the bird population at airports, parks and reserves and golf courses.

The Palmerston North based company, in association with the Foundation for Arable Research and PGG Wrightson Seeds, has received $1.7 million in funding from the Primary Growth Partnership.

The partnership between the Government and industry aims to invest up to $140 million per year in primary sector growth and innovation.

Grasslanz chief executive John Caradus says the company has already done some preliminary trials on a grass containing a specific endophyte, which birds will keep away from.

He says it makes them ill and they do not come back to eat any more.

The company now wants to test large tracts of grass at parks and airports.

Mr Caradus says the endophyte in the grass also reduces the insect population, making areas where it's planted unattractive to seagulls.