About the program
The Australian government has committed $35 million to enable more horticulturalists to purchase and install bird netting. An allocation of $5.9 million is available to the NSW Horticultural Netting Program. The program, by providing funding for bird netting, encourages growers to use bird netting to protect their crops from birds and other wildlife.
Bird netting has successfully reduced crop losses from bird damage and has helped improve the quality of fruit and vegetables grown in NSW.
The funding will subsidise the cost of bird netting for growers to make it more affordable and accessible. The programme will boost the use of bird netting across the country and help to reduce the impact of birds and other pests on crops.
The move comes as part of the government’s commitment to supporting the horticulture industry, which is a vital part of the Australian economy. Horticulture farms employed an average of 135,100 workers from 2020 to 2021.
The value of agricultural products in the same year was $40 billion representing a considerable contribution to the Australian GDP.
What is bird netting, and why is it important?
Research shows that protective netting can significantly improve crop yields, enhancing growers’ profits. Netting also saves up to 30% water, which is a boon for horticulturalists and the environment.
Bird netting is a type of mesh made from strong nylon or polypropylene. Bird netting creates a barrier that keeps birds away from fruit trees, crops and buildings. Bird netting also serves as a protective barrier against harsh sunlight, which can damage fruit and other produce. Even better, it can create a microclimate for plants to grow and produce fruit.
Protective bird netting comes in various sizes and can be custom-made to fit your needs. Whether permanently or temporarily installed, it is relatively easy to use. When appropriately installed, bird netting is an effective way to keep birds away from crops and buildings, a must for horticulturalists.
Horticulturalists in NSW can apply for a rebate of 50% of the purchase and installation of new protective bird mesh or the replacement of damaged netting for up to $100,000.
How can bird netting be used effectively?
You can use bird netting as a seasonal barrier to protect growing crops in spring and early summer. When the produce is safely picked, you can remove and store the nets until the following year. This technique ensures a longer lifespan for nets, providing they are correctly stored.
Ensure that the netting has holes no larger than 5mm or less when fully taught. Bird netting creates an effective barrier against birds and other wildlife while still allowing access for pollination. White bird netting is the best colour since it stands out clearly against the fruit, and birds are likelier to see and avoid it.
Full exclusion bird netting is the most effective barrier when fitted to a sturdy frame and pulled taught so birds cannot become entangled with the mesh. Good break strength is needed to ensure that even heavy bird pests do not allow the fabric to sag.
Full exclusion bird netting is usually more expensive than throw-over seasonal netting solutions. However, with up to 50% rebates, farmers and horticulturalists can more readily afford the extra cost.
Can I install bird netting myself?
Installing bird netting can be a difficult and time consuming process. If not done correctly, it can result in injuries to both the installer and the birds. There are health and safety concerns that need to be taken into account when installing bird netting.
Stapling bird netting to an overhead beam from a ladder creates a risk of falling.
The idea behind installing bird netting may seem simple enough, but the installation process is complicated and difficult.
When installing bird netting, it is best to get a professional installer, especially if you’re getting funding for bird netting. A professional installer will know what precautions to heed and have the necessary equipment and knowledge to ensure that the job completes safely. Best advice is to hire a professional when it comes to something as hazardous as bird netting, which often requires working at heights.
Many types of bird netting are available on the market today, and each has its pros and cons. You can choose one specific to your needs.
Even if I can get funding for Bird Netting, is Bird netting the answer?
Funding for NSW will be opening soon, and the program will run until 30th June 2024 or when the funds have run out, whichever comes first.
With this in mind, decisions as to the best course of action for pest bird control are imperative. Multiple solutions are available, and each person must decide what is best for their particular circumstances.
For horticultural solutions, bird netting is not only recommended by the Australian government but positively encouraged. The Horticultural Netting Program shows a pronounced preference for bird netting as a solution against bird pests.
Birds are not the only predators. Small mammals such as possums, rabbits, rats and mice can wreak havoc on your property, so bird netting is often used as a solution to control these pests.
One of the primary considerations when deciding what type of bird netting you want to use is the size of your project and the kinds of birds you are trying to deter. Bird netting is a simple, inexpensive and effective way to keep your crops safe from unwanted visitors.
We can help
When it comes to the best solution for pest bird control on agricultural land, bird netting is an affordable, humane and effective way to deal with bird pest infestations and protect your crops.
We are Sydney’s preferred pest control service for businesses and homes since 2003. Our pest control experts have all the licensing and prerequisite training to safely service your pest control needs and rid you of unwanted guests. We’re fully certified and insured for peace of mind and adhere to all the safety regulations and WHS codes. We have a full range of bird netting to suit all requirements and will design a plan specific to your needs.
Our firm provides residential and commercial bird-proofing solutions in Sydney and beyond. Our staff are fully licensed and registered, and we offer our services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We use top-quality equipment and products whenever we complete a job, and we guarantee every job