Crop Damage Control 2006
The Waterfowl Crop Damage Prevention Program (WCDPP) provides assistance to Alberta grain producers in reducing or preventing damage to cereal crops caused by waterfowl during the fall migration period. Damage prevention is accomplished through provision of alternate food for waterfowl at feeding stations, provision of waterfowl scaring equipment for producers to borrow free of charge, and waterfowl scaring advise available through print media, internet and WCDPP coordinators.
In 2006, 11 feeding stations operated for an average of 34 d and provided a total of 7,526 bushels of barley and estimated 846,798 duck-days of use. The total estimated duck-use of feeding stations measured by duck-days was 59% lower in 2006 than that reported in 2005.
Scaring equipment was available for producers to borrow at 56 locations throughout the province. Scare cannon distribution centres operated for an average of 80 d, and 114 cannons were loaned out to 64 landowners for use on at least 90 different quarter sections of land. Just under half (n = 23) of the 50 landowners who were asked said they would allow WCDPP coordinators to provide their contact information to interested waterfowl hunters. Scare cannon request information was provided to waterfowl enthusiasts through weekly updates on an Alberta Conservation Association waterfowl web page. Five waterfowl hunters contacted WCDPP coordinators for information as a result of the web page.
Dry weather in the fall allowed producers to harvest most cereal crops by mid September. As a result, program activities were terminated before the target date of 6-October. Program expenditures were lower than expected because of this early termination, with an estimated total expenditure of $203,668.