How To Keep Wildlife Away from your Orchard & Vineyard
As a farmer, your top priority is having a healthy crop that produces well. Few things are more frustrating than having a beautiful crop coming in only to have it be snatched away by wildlife and pests. In this article, we will go over some of the ways you can help protect your vineyards and orchards from wildlife.
One of the most effective methods for protecting fruits is netting but if it’s not done correctly, it can trap the wildlife which could lead to more crop damage and cause injury to animals. There are a variety of netting sizes to choose from, each of which is designed for specific tree and vine types and allows the fruit to develop as it should and keeps the birds and other wildlife away from the plants.
Fencing is one of the most popular and efficient methods of protecting your orchards and vineyards from larger wildlife such as deer. There are two main types of fencing optional, woven wire and electric fencing. The woven fencing acts like a normal fence that prevents the deer from jumping over, the electric fence is intended to change the behavior of the deer and deter them from entering the vineyards & orchards. When putting in woven fencing, make sure to have the fencing at least 8 feet high and keep the wiring close to the ground so wildlife can’t slide underneath. Putting in fencing can be a bit pricey but when it’s done correctly, it’s very effective and can last for years.
An effective method of protecting your orchards from wildlife is with repellents. People have differing opinions on using repellents but if it is something you’re open to, it’s worth trying. Contact repellents are applied directly to the trees. These repellents make the plants taste undesirable to wildlife. These repellents should generally be applied before the orchards start producing fruit for the year. Area repellents should be applied near, but not on, the trees you are wanting to protect. These repellents put out an odor that deters deers.
If you are struggling with rodents and pests trying to take over your vineyard/orchard, setting out traps might be worth taking into consideration. This method takes time and patience but can be well worth the effort if you take time to set out bait and monitor the traps.
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