July 21, 2015
Research by Noah Perlut, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, was recently featured in an article in the Ontario Farmer.
The article discussed Perlut’s study of field nesting birds, particularly bobolinks, and his work to make more palatable to farmers the concept of not mowing their hay during the 65 day window when bobolinks nest and fledge their young. “If you cut a field by June 11th, there’s a 100 percent chance the nests will fail,” Perlut stated.
According to the article, instead of mowing later in the season, another option, supported by a program in Vermont that pays farmers compensation for participating, is to take a first cut of hay in mid-May, vacate the field for 65 days and then return for a second mowing.
“We can’t solely rely on delayed harvesting,” Perlut explained. “Our model has been to keep agriculture on the landscape, because without agriculture, there would be no grassland birds.”