Crop weed killer killing chicks?

TJH

New member
If i recall correctly wild baby pheasants live mostly on bugs for food and moisture for the first four weeks of their life. Not seeds or grain. It takes broad leaf plants to produce the majority of the bugs young pheasants need to survive. This is one of the reasons USDA now requires us in pheasant priority areas to interseed existing CRP with alfalfa, clover, and other broad leaf plants when contracts are renewed. CRP that is all grass as it was here when it first started is very poor brood rearing habitat. Herbicides or insecticides may not directly kill young pheasants but they do kill their food source. No weeds = no bugs = no pheasants.
 
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Prairie Drifter

Well-known member
If i recall correctly wild baby pheasants live mostly on bugs for food and moisture for the first four weeks of their life. Not seeds or grain. It takes broad leaf plants to produce the majority of the bugs young pheasants need to survive. This is one of the reasons USDA now requires us in pheasant priority areas to interseed existing CRP with alfalfa, clover, and other broad leaf plants when contracts are renewed. CRP that is all grass as it was here when it first started is very poor brood rearing habitat. Herbicides or insecticides may not directly kill young pheasants but they do kill their food source. No weeds = no bugs = no pheasants.
If you also look at juxtapositioning of habitats within the current agricultural landscape you also see that our gamebirds do not have a landscape similar to the years when we had lots of birds because crop field sizes have increased, perennial intrusions within the cropland and grassland that used to be untouched are now cropped or otherwise eliminated as useable bird cover. That results in birds having to move farther to fulfill their daily requirements for food, water, and cover; thereby exposing themselves more to predation and environmental stresses. There are just a whole lot more challenges for our birds in today's agricultural landscape than when farmers raised > 4 crops in smaller fields as opposed to 1-3 crops in much larger fields that some of today's producers raise. Many of these are financial decisions, so no one can fault a farmer trying to maximize profits. However, those decisions affect our fall and winter success. The reasons that CRP was a great program for agriculture (and subsequently wildlife) still exist. Government emphasis is what shifted. Government needs to modernize CRP to help stabilize agriculture for both farmers and our native and naturalized wildlife.
 

GetTothePoint

Active member
It's all a vicious circle for wildlife, clean fields with no bugs are a desert for wildlife. Dicamba has been used for years but not at the rates its been used at the last few years since dicamba beans came about, and hopefully on their way out with all the off target damage it's causing. I'd love to see PF or QF or NWTF do some research on this topic. Quail eb and flow in our region, but we had turkeys thick as fleas for a lot of years, Dicamba soybeans took off and our population of turkeys crashed. Now in our county, a big switch away from Dicamba has occured the last couple years and especially this last year, with no farmers in my immediate area using it any longer in crop and we have more turkeys this year than ive seen in 5-6 years which was right about the time Dicamba was flying everywhere. Just my observations but the timing is very suspicious to me. The other big issue I see is the research on fungicides has led to their usage going up and when farmers are already making that spray pass they are throwing insecticides in at a much higher rate than used in years past. Ever notice how few bugs are on your windshields compared to 20 years ago?
 
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duckn66

Well-known member
Fescue is/was the downfall to quail. It’s to think for chicks to get through! Turkeys don’t eat quail chicks and even if they do they wouldn’t eat enough to make a difference.

Habitat loss is the reason our birds are declining. The biggest reason anyway.
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
It's all a vicious circle for wildlife, clean fields with no bugs are a desert for wildlife. Dicamba has been used for years but not at the rates its been used at the last few years since dicamba beans came about, and hopefully on their way out with all the off target damage it's causing. I'd love to see PF or QF or NWTF do some research on this topic. Quail eb and flow in our region, but we had turkeys thick as fleas for a lot of years, Dicamba soybeans took off and our population of turkeys crashed. Now in our county, a big switch away from Dicamba has occured the last couple years and especially this last year, with no farmers in my immediate area using it any longer in crop and we have more turkeys this year than ive seen in 5-6 years which was right about the time Dicamba was flying everywhere. Just my observations but the timing is very suspicious to me. The other big issue I see is the research on fungicides has led to their usage going up and when farmers are already making that spray pass they are throwing insecticides in at a much higher rate than used in years past. Ever notice how few bugs are on your windshields compared to 20 years ago?
Bugs are horrible on the windshield at night out here. Driving home from the lake in the summer is just as miserable now as it was 25 years ago. I will say bugs need the same thing as birds, habitat.
 

Matte

Member
I will just go by the K State study that names Raptors during the spring migration as the number one killer of hens. No hens, no eggs, no chicks.
 

Matte

Member
Another issue curved by habitat!
False read the report the study was done in prime habitat with cover crops and Crp. Are there areas void of birds with subpar habitat yes. There are also large, very large chunks of land with great habitat with no birds. Yes habitat is very, very important but when you have water, food, plum thickets, crp, grazed ground, winter wheat, milo, lots of giant ragweed along old fence lines, cattails in the bottom areas and still no birds. I dont drink the habitat heals all Kool Aid. You can but i feel there is a deeper issue we are missing.
 

Quailnerd

Active member
False read the report the study was done in prime habitat with cover crops and Crp. Are there areas void of birds with subpar habitat yes. There are also large, very large chunks of land with great habitat with no birds. Yes habitat is very, very important but when you have water, food, plum thickets, crp, grazed ground, winter wheat, milo, lots of giant ragweed along old fence lines, cattails in the bottom areas and still no birds. I dont drink the habitat heals all Kool Aid. You can but i feel there is a deeper issue we are missing.
Does the report have a name I’d love to read it? if it’s mentioned above I missed it.
 

Prairie Drifter

Well-known member
As with everything in nature, there is variability in this. The raptor migration varies across the state, the wheat height varies, the CRP density varies, the predator population varies, the escape cover varies.........the list goes on. Yes, there are other factors. Parasites, ag practices, pesticides, woody expansion, Roundup Ready farming........again variability. The constant is that without suitable habitat, bird numbers suffer.
 

birddude

Well-known member
All I can say from where I'm at is I think something else is going on with the lack of quail. And yes, I know all the other reasons they have disappeared. But I find it suspicious that the only quail left here are in areas that cannot be farmed. I don't need any responses, just saying.
 

Quailnerd

Active member
False read the report the study was done in prime habitat with cover crops and Crp. Are there areas void of birds with subpar habitat yes. There are also large, very large chunks of land with great habitat with no birds. Yes habitat is very, very important but when you have water, food, plum thickets, crp, grazed ground, winter wheat, milo, lots of giant ragweed along old fence lines, cattails in the bottom areas and still no birds. I dont drink the habitat heals all Kool Aid. You can but i feel there is a deeper issue we are missing.
Good read thanks for sharing. It’s just hard for me to get twisted up about raptors because they are untouchable.
 

birddude

Well-known member
I will just go by the K State study that names Raptors during the spring migration as the number one killer of hens. No hens, no eggs, no chicks.
I'm not in disagreement, but, if there is a lot of prey, there's going to be a lot of predators. I've said this before. At the height of southern Iowa's glory days There was literally almost a hawk on every telephone pole. Yet plenty of birds to go around. I knew a very successful farmer once who stepped off a track hoe and asked me if I was finding any quail. When I said not like I used to, he said those dammed coyotes, foxes and hawks got all the rabbits and quail killed out. Chatted a minute, got back on his track hoe, and went back to work tearing out a tree line that had a covey on it.
 

KsHusker

Active member

K state is an Ag school -- do you in your right mind think they'd put anything out that goes against big ag they likely receive money from or would ruffle the feathers of the more sensitive ag producers?

I thought you had more common sense than that. Are you sure your account has not been hacked by 55 yr old Billy Bob from middle of nowhere KS?

Next thing we will see Kstate blaming Yeti's and mountain lions for the demise of mule deer here. By Golly timberwolves (not ranchers and bullets) are what keep antelope numbers in check.


Habitat, Poisons we are putting into the environment, eliminating bio diversity by way of plants and animals and microbes in the soil, and lastly feeding all the damn nest robbers and supporting their populations because people are too damn lazy to scout and put a trail camera where a deer may walk, instead they ring the dinner bell they may or may not come to -- I can throw 1000 other insults over the piles of failure everyone likes to put out - but that I do believe plays a part.

God forbid if you get on here and say turkeys are eating all the chicks.
 

Matte

Member
K state is an Ag school -- do you in your right mind think they'd put anything out that goes against big ag they likely receive money from or would ruffle the feathers of the more sensitive ag producers?

I thought you had more common sense than that. Are you sure your account has not been hacked by 55 yr old Billy Bob from middle of nowhere KS?

Next thing we will see Kstate blaming Yeti's and mountain lions for the demise of mule deer here. By Golly timberwolves (not ranchers and bullets) are what keep antelope numbers in check.


Habitat, Poisons we are putting into the environment, eliminating bio diversity by way of plants and animals and microbes in the soil, and lastly feeding all the damn nest robbers and supporting their populations because people are too damn lazy to scout and put a trail camera where a deer may walk, instead they ring the dinner bell they may or may not come to -- I can throw 1000 other insults over the piles of failure everyone likes to put out - but that I do believe plays a part.

God forbid if you get on here and say turkeys are eating all the chicks.
I just mentioned a report done in the field for others to digest as they are fact based studies not just opinions. Good news is I have been seeing a lot on hens this year, this in turn gives me hope for a better hatch next year.
 
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