Battling Those Blasted Blackbirds

If you’ve ever raised sunflowers in this part of the world, you’ve probably muttered (or more likely shouted) a few choice words about blackbirds. The birds can do an amazing amount of damage to sunflower fields, especially those near the birds’ water source. Through the years I’ve talked with several farmers who said they quit raising ‘flowers, in part, because of blackbird damage.

So it’s encouraging to read that a U.S. Department of Agriculture study of controlling the birds chemically found “very good results,” according to the latest electronic newsletter from the National Sunflower Association in Mandan, N.D.

The chemical product (Avian Control) already is labeled for sunflower and various fruits, but no research had been done into its efficacy for sunflowers, NSA says.