Saturday, July 4, 2009

Attack of the Agircultural Pests

Just about all the plants are in the ground in my lab's 3 experimental farm plots. Hopefully the tiny seedlings will grow fast into strong adults before the hail and local critters take them out. We've had too much rain so far this summer but I'm optimistic we'll get a good harvest.

Last week my boss and labmates and I spent the day hammering in a ~1000 foot fence around our one plot that we especially need to keep animals out of. Previously, the black plastic mulch was covered in footprints and holes made by deer and some bird with big feet (crows?). We weren't happy to see large pieces completely torn away on the side of the field closest to the creek. We assumed this was the work of groundhogs but the farm guys told us it was actually snapping turtles! Maybe they tore it while basking?

At any rate a subsequent storm blew most of it down. The farm guys generously fixed it for us so now we just need to wait and hope for better weather.

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