On behalf of Nick and Andy
Just replying to Tony Walker’s letter about possible rodent damage to walnuts.
We had damage to about 2% of our crop consisting of chew marks to the ends of the shell right through to a hole about 5mm round at the ends.
We noticed damage to the nuts on the ground and on the drying racks.
We use possum kill traps out in the field as well as small rodent cage traps.
So far we caught 1 possum & 6 hedgehogs, & I was thinking you may be correct in thinking hedgehogs are chewing the nuts.
We use bait & spring rat traps in the shed & caught 4 rats & 4 mice.
The bait we use we bought off Trademe & smells like chocolate & seems to attract mice & rats as it is usually gone within a week.
I can’t say for certain what type of critter is chewing the nuts in the field but as you suggest I may have to stake out the crime scene at night!
Good luck with your next crop & lets hope the weather is favourable.
We are still contemplating whether to replace the 7 trees that have over the last few years have failed to produce nuts & have lost leaves early & finally looking dead.
Does anyone have similar damage to their trees?