7 September 2001

Badger damage warning

BADGERS can cause significant damage to standing maize, particularly in fields near wooded areas.

John Hancock is facing extensive crop damage this summer. "This is due to badgers knocking down maize plants to feed on the ripening cobs."

This damage can be minimised by growing maize away from known badger setts, otherwise there is little that can be done to prevent damage, says Mr Hancock. "Badger numbers have increased at Hurlands Farm over the last few years, which explains the growing problem of crop damage."

Grainseed have maize plots on land nearby, says the companys Neil Groom. "The plots are extensively fenced to prevent badgers gaining access. This works well for trial plots, but it is not practical and is too expensive on a field scale."