One that is pictured quite a bit in my blog and used by thousands of finches is the Finch Flocker (a 36" feeder). Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. The most widely known use is for feeding birds, however, and the seed is imported around the world as a popular type of birdseed. Niger plants grow new plants from seeds each year. They also gave up some of their CRP land, so birds got a raw deal from ethanol...no bird can live in a corn field. per acre. According to the Loegerings, attempts have been made to grow a type of Nyjer in North America. By 2002, a plant had been developed and seeds were produced...and no bird would touch it. Nyjer is all hand harvested overseas, think about that when you are pouring it into your feeder--that is a hand harvested seed. Part of the reason is that there is no farm equipment available to separate the tiny seeds from the chaff. Seed in rows about 20 inches apart at a planting rate of 3.18kg. In some areas, the oil and seed are eaten in different recipes, including curries, chutneys, and gruel, and Nyjer has several medicinal uses as well. The Wild Bird Feeding Industry has pushed for the name to be changed to a phonetic spelling: Nyjer. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. This time, the finches ate both types of Nyjer at the same rate. The findings were published as follows: Studies on the use of dry heat to decontaminate niger seed (G. abyssinica) infested with dodder seed (Cuscuta sp.) Check state regulations for approved fungicides if you detect sclerotina. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines. Farmers grow niger seed, sometimes called thistle seed or nyjer seed, for use as an oil source and human consumption in its native Ethiopia. Swath the crop once the seed heads form and start to exhibit shattering. In the United States niger seed commonly finds its way into bird feeders. Nyjer Seed (aka niger seed or thistle seed) is a teeny-tiny, high-oil content seed (~40%) mostly favored by finches and siskins. A Niger Growers Group was even formed. The process also renders the niger seeds unable to germinate. Confused yet? Nyjer bird seed is an oilseed crop from the yellow flowering plant, Guizotia abyssinica (pictured), that is cultivated in Ethiopia, India, Myanmar and Nepal. One of the presentations was from John and Lisa Loegering about attempts to produce Nyjer in North America. Swath the crop once the seed heads form and start to exhibit shattering. Farmers commonly grow the crop under contract to birdseed processors. The American Niger Seed Company suggests one beehive for every acre of niger seed crop. Above is a picture of Nyjer also known as Niger and Thistle. hey ya'll! A Niger Growers Group was even formed. Strasser, EG Seed Sci. Advantages & Disadvantages for Horticulture, American Niger Seed Company: Growing Niger, Glenn Page, Crop Science: Plant Population Influences Niger Seed, 2004. It's that tiny seed you put out for finches, siskins and redpolls and it's not grown in North America--one of the reasons it's one of the more expensive seeds. This is not a seed grown in North America. Farmers produce niger seed commercially in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota and Canada. My piece for the Washington Post on being furloughed. Basically at bird stores: Nyjer = Niger = Thistle, it is all the same seed. Harvest the niger seeds using a standard farm combine adjusted for a fine light crop. Does it make for a better tasting seed? In order to eliminate waste, there are special thistle feeders with very tiny holes as feeding ports. Prepare the soil bed by ploughing or tilling to remove existing plants. , Lefse + créme fraîche + lingonberries = OMFG TONGUE. While we're talking Nyjer and finches, you might need one and some are available at the Birdchick's OpenSky Store. The Nyjer Growers Group has since disbanded. Does the heat remove the moisture to make the shell easier to crack? Between that and tariffs, you can understand why it's an expensive feed to put out. Plant the seeds in the spring after the last threat of frost or later in the year. A heat treatment was found to devitalize the dodder seed which still left the niger with a 4% germination at a heat exposure of 4 hours. The other reason was that when corn prices went crazy on all the ethanol speculation, many farmers gave up trying to grow bird food like Nyjer or sunflower (it's costly since you have to protect from the very creatures it is being grown for) in favor of growing corn. 1988; 16: 501-505 And now a few words from one of my site's sponsors: Hey! Does it look different in the UV color spectrum? Now why would they prefer the heat treated seed? We don't know. Commercial Nyjer is grown in Africa, particularly Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as in India, Nepal, and Myanmar. Bird watchers put out thistle for Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, and others. So he got the directions for the exact process and heat treated the North American Nyjer and restarted the experiment. Niger plants are not self-pollinating and require insect assistance. So many retailers referred to it as thistle. Knowing which birds eat Nyjer can help birders choose the best birdseed and appropriate feeders for their backyard flock. Check state regulations for approved fungicides if you detect sclerotina. & Technol. Farmers grow niger seed, sometimes called thistle seed or nyjer seed, for use as an oil source and human consumption in its native Ethiopia. Most of what you purchase for goldfinches at your local feed store comes from Singapore, Burma (I remember seeing that location frequently when I got in 50# bags at the bird store I managed), Ethiopia, and Myanmar. When I started feeding thistle to the birds, I heard somewhere that it will not germinate. Combine settings and adjustments vary with the manufacturer so consult the owner's manual. The group contacted the Loegerings and asked them to figure out why birds wouldn't eat the seeds.