The end for bird-scarers?
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CTA. 1995. The end for bird-scarers?. Spore 56. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47044
Years of research by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) in the UK could soon benefit farmers around the world. The research started when it was noted that certain species of pear tree produced buds that were unpalatable to a...
Years of research by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) in the UK could soon benefit farmers around the world. The research started when it was noted that certain species of pear tree produced buds that were unpalatable to a particular bird. Investigating this has produced a compound, called cinnamamide, which can protect a range of crops, from rice to citrus fruit, against a number of pests, including birds, rats and slugs. The compound that makes the food unattractive to the pests, has proved to be effective on all birds tested. These include species from Argentina, Costa Rica, New Zealand, USA and the UK, and David Cowan who heads the team responsible for the development of cinnamamide hopes that future trials will show its effectiveness in other countries too. Dr Chris Feare, working for the MAFF's Central Science Laboratory, is convinced ''cinnamamide has enormous potential as a bird repellent' and hopes to carry out trials through Africa on its effect on birds like the Quelea, a pest of wheat, sorghum, millet and rice. Although the compound is already available, it is expensive to buy; but if a chemical company decides to go into production, large-scale production should result in reduced costs. With cinnamamide being based on a natural product (cinnamic acid and related compounds) there is the possibility of being able to grow the product on site, or even develop new varieties of crops that produce their own cinnamamide as they grow. David Cowan Central Science Laboratory London Road Slough Berkshire SL3 7HJ UK