High Endophyte and Geese Control
Titan Ltd. May Help Improve Airport Safety!
At the 2007 FAA Worldwide Airport Technology Transfer Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, five researchers from the USDA’s Wildlife Services presented their two year findings on the use of high endophyte tall fescue varieties at airport runways to help reduce the risk of wildlife-aircraft collisions. According to their report, these types of collisions cause over $500 million dollars of damage annually in the United States alone. Birds like gulls, geese, hawks, owls, blackbirds, and starlings are the main cause of these collisions, which mostly occur at less than 1,000 feet above ground level.
In an attempt to reduce the amount of these fowl offenders, the USDA is looking at changing the vegetation around the airports in order to:
- provide limited food resources (seeds, insects, etc.)
- provide little cover for small animals (thus reducing the attractant to hawks and owls)
- resist invasion by other plants that would be more attracting to these feathered nuisances
What better choice than high-endophytic tall fescue, like Titan Ltd? While humans love the newer, slower-growing, pest resistant tall fescues, some small mammals, Canadian geese, and many insects hate the stuff. With this in mind, a study was conducted at seven airfields in the eastern and central US, where multiple varieties of tall fescue, including Titan Ltd. were evaluated during 2005-2006.
|Washington Dulles International||VA||Titan Ltd. was the highest scoring variety in percent cover.|
|Greater Binghamton Regional||NY||Titan Ltd. had one of the highest plant densities in both 2005 and 2006.|
|General Mitchell International||WI||Titan Ltd .had the top density score in 2005.|
|Trial data also included plantings at LaGuarida International, General Mitchell International, Purdue University, Marine Corps Air Station CP, and Piedmont-Triad International. See the full USDA Report that was presented at the 2007 FAA Wordlwide Airport Technology Transfer Conference.|
The researchers were so excited that they created an additional study to include an additional nine airports. While their conclusions about tall fescue being the “species of choice” are at this point inconclusive and “many questions need to be answered before recommendations can be made as to what is the best plant or group of plants” for these types of applications, this type of research will undoubtedly spawn more research on ways to take advantages of improved genetics like Titan Ltd., and natural pesticides, like endophytes.
By the way, the next time you fly into Washington Dulles, or Chicago's O'hare, and you see something that looks like a tall fescue trial, note the one that has the highest percentage of ground cover - it will most likely be Titan Ltd., as it was the top ground coverage scorer there last year!