Many hundreds of thousands of householders use feeders to draw birds. However, a two-year examination featured within the journal Invasive Plant Science and Administration suggests there could also be one unintended consequence to this standard interest. Fowl feed mixtures could also be serving to unfold troublesome weeds that threaten agricultural crops.
When researchers examined the contents of 98 commercially accessible hen feed mixes, they uncovered a number of important findings:
- These contained seeds from 29 weed species.
- 96 % of the mixes contained seeds for pigweed species weeds, which might characterize a big risk to agriculture.
- One in 10 contained Palmer amaranth or waterhemp seeds that demonstrated resistance to glyphosate in a greenhouse screening.
- Seeds from Kochia, widespread ragweed, foxtail species, and wild buckwheat had been additionally present in lots of the mixes.
The researchers additionally explored which harvested chicken feed elements contributed most to weed seed contamination. They discovered that proso millet grain was carefully linked to the presence of pigweed species weeds, whereas safflower and sunflower contributed most to the presence of Kochia and customary ragweed, respectively.
“Whereas it’s troublesome to estimate the exact function business chook feed performs, there’s a distinct risk it might be an ignored pathway for spreading troublesome weed species into new areas,” says Eric Oseland of the College of Missouri.
To mitigate the dangers, researchers advocate cautious weed administration in crop fields designated for hen feed, in addition to the usage of sieving throughout packaging to cut back weed seed contamination. Additionally, the level to the confirmed effectiveness of regulatory measures adopted in Europe to restrict weed seed content material in bird feed.