The newest HAT Soil Health Podcast is available for download or streaming at hoosieragtoday.com. On this podcast, I sat down with two recent Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources masters students to discuss their research on voles. Specifically, we discussed voles’ preferences for cover crops and effective predators to deal with them naturally.
Abby Prieur’s research discovered what cover crops you might want to plant if you have a vole problem.
“Voles really don’t like the brassica cover crops. So, things like radish, turnip, and canola, those were the three that voles didn’t like. On the flip side, they really like nitrogen fixers. So, things like clovers, vetches, and alfalfa.”
Megan Zagorski’s research focused on raptors (no not the dinosaur or the basketball team in Toronto). She’s talking about predators and what they need to be able to attack your vole problem for you.
“Hawks that are active during the day are going to be hunting by sight… so you need cover that is sparse enough for them to spot the movement or the trails that these voles will create in soybeans or their natural habitat. So, you need that, and we also need perches. Most of our raptors will hunt from perches because that’s just more energetically efficient. You can just kind of sit and wait for a vole to come along.”
Again, hear more from Prieur and Zagorski in the full HAT Soil Podcast, presented by the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, by clicking the play button above. You can select the Soil Health tab at the top of this page for all archived versions of the show as well.