Crows destroy 30ac of oats, wild bird cover crops to blame says farmer

Crows have destroyed 30ac of oats on one Co. Galway farmer and he has put the problem down to the increasing amount of wild bird cover crops being sown in the area.

Eamonn Burke, a tillage and beef farmer from Corrandulla, Co.Galway has had a huge problem over the past three years with vermin birds.

A possible solution suggested by Burke is to change the crops in the wild bird cover, as the current ones are giving the crows a huge start on spring-sowing crops.

“They have destroyed 30ac of oats this year so far this year and are now grazing my barley out of the ground.”

Burke, who is also on the IFA’s Rural Development Committee, has re-sown the oats however, the crows have done the same thing now again and he believes that between labour and input costs that it’s €10,000 gone down the drain.

I have put the problem down to the increasing number of wild bird cover area as the main problem.

“There is now more hectares under wild bird cover in Galway than cereals, thus the vermin birds have no threat of being put under pressure.”

Burke said that the birds have no predators so they can thrive and reproduce without any threat.

“They take no notice of the gun. We had the gun club in here and they were back in the field after an hour. They don’t seem to fear anything.”

The Galway farmer said that he isn’t blaming the farmers [in GLAS], it’s the crops that they’re sowing under the wild bird cover.

“I understand that all farmers are under serious pressure financially and have to get extra income any way they can but it’s at a cost to my income.”