May started off on a soggy note, but hot and dry conditions seem to be a trend for the second full week of May. Planting progress across the county has been slow to get off the ground, with much of the field still unused and weeds growing taller every day. A few growers managed to plant, but emergence was very slow due to wet and cool soil conditions. Adams County is not alone, much of the state and even the country is facing planting delays due to harsh weather conditions. According to the USDA planting progress report, the week ending May 2 showed only 3% of Ohio’s corn crop was planted and 2% of the soybean crop was planted. and 0% emerged. U.S. corn planting progress stands at 14%, which is below the 5-year average of 33% and soybean stand at 8% is also well below the 5-year average by 13%.
Wet conditions may have some farmers standing still for a little while, but that certainly hasn’t slowed down mother nature, especially the birds! Last week I received a call from a local producer explaining how he combats birds which then build in the engine bay of his tractors, as he explained that birds can build a complete nest in a very short time and in in the past it has had a fire because of the nest, which resulted in costly repairs and downtime. I can speak for myself and most farmers birds seem to have increased in population over the year creating quite a mess and fire hazard when they decide to take up residence under the hood of your tractor . Here are some facts and considerations to protect not only your machinery this spring, but also your own health.
1. Learn your bird species – There are several species of birds that like to nest in barns, sheds, and other small, tight areas. Barn Swallows, Starlings, Tree Swallows, House Swallows, House Sparrows, Kestrels, and even Barn Owls are the most common we see around the backyard. The Ohio Division of Natural Resources is a good source to contact for help identifying different species of birds.
2. Learn bird habits – Some bird species prefer different environments. Food sources, living quarters, water sources, human activities, and lighting can all play a key role in choosing a bird to nest.
3. Disturbance is important – The use of deterrents such as predatory decoys such as other birds of prey or even decoy snakes has been successful. Raising the hood of the tractor when not in use can also be a good way to avoid nesting.
4. Stay diligent – Be sure to always check the tractor if you know you’ve had a bird nesting problem in the past. The materials that birds build their nests with can be very combustible when in contact with the heat of the tractor engine. Allowing time for verification can result in thousands of damages and even injuries or loss of life.
5. The nesting season can last a long time – Most birds’ nesting seasons can extend from March to the end of June. So stay alert even in early summer for late nests.
Some other articles:
The application deadline for commodity loans and LDPs for feed grains and other grain crops is May 31, call the FSA office to apply at (937) 544-2033 option 2.
Crop Planting Certification with USDA FSA – July 15