Saturday, November 1, 2008

Weed Seeds In Bird Seed Mixes

Be prepared for customers to ask questions about weeds in bird seed.

As mentioned earlier in the blog, the Weed Science Society of America released information that many noxious weed seeds can be found in bird seed mixes--seeds not intended to be ingredients in those mixes.

News organizations and sites are picking up on the story:

The Post-Bulletin
The Christian Science Monitor
The Akron Beakon Journal
The Leader-Telegram

The story is gaining legs and customers will be asking if your bird seed is treated to be non-germination. Be sure to ask you seed distributors what they know about the story, how their seed is treated, do they know if any of their mixes were used in the study. The WSSA is offering tips for preventing weed seeds from growing:

Use a tray attachment under your feeder to keep seeds off the ground. (Because birds like house sparrows never kick seeds around in tray causing them to spill to the ground).

Select foods that won’t sprout, such as sunflower hearts, peanuts, peanut butter, raisins, mealworms, and plain suet cakes.

Buy only treated wild bird food mixtures. Many manufacturers are now baking their products to kill weed seeds, using guidelines established by the US Department of Agriculture. So read product labels carefully to make certain you select a treated brand.

Keep an eye out for weeds under your feeder and pull them before they can flower and spread.

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