The horrendously wet autumn of 2012 and the late snow in the early spring of 2013 have hit arable farmers hard. Seeds sowed into cold and wet ground have failed to germinate in many places but re-drilling has been delayed by muddy conditions followed by deep snow. Radio 4’s Farming Today reported, on April 23rd 2013, that Weetabix were unable to make breakfast cereals because of a lack of quality British wheat for the first time ever!
Now that expensive re-seeding is virtually finished farmers are keen to protect these expensive replacement sowings from ravenous flocks of pigeons that are equally determined to feed on them.
A mixed bag of wood pigeon, feral pigeon and corvids shot over fresh drillings in some fine spring weather. Larger groups of shooters can cover several fields and this increases the effectiveness of shooting to control pigeon numbers. Once disturbed from one field pigeon will often circulate for a few minutes before attempting to land again fairly close by.
Solitary shooters can be frustrated when they set up where pigeon are feeding well only to see them disappear completely once a shot is fired. Organised groups, like this one, offer many advantages to farmers when controlling pigeon and have more long term impact on pigeon numbers than lone shooters offering to keep pigeon numbers under control.by