Propane Cannons and Other Bird Frightening Devices

Image of propane cannon in a vineyard

Accepted Customs and Standards for Propane Cannons and other Audible Frightening Devices 

As winegrapes begin the process of ripening, growers are using propane cannons and other noise frightening devices as a tool to mitigate the effects of bird depredation on fruit. It is important that growers follow the guidelines for propane cannons as approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2019. These guidelines reflect the rules that are now in place with regards to the use of propane cannons, and must be followed by growers in order to maintain compliance. Growers not following the established guidelines will be cited by Code Compliance staff.

The following points highlight some of the more significant elements of the approved guidelines:

  • No more than 1 propane cannon per 5 acres
  • Propane cannons may run 3 hours in the morning (up to 30 minutes before sunset, no earlier) and 3 hours in the evening (up to 30 minutes after sunset, no later)
  • Cannons may not run at night or all day long
  • In areas with immediate neighbors, propane cannons must be a minimum of 600 feet from a residence/ animal enclosure in addition to the use of a buffering device

For full details, see the approved Proper and Accepted Customs and Standards for Operations of Propane Cannons and other Audible Frightening Devices Within Napa County Agricultural Lands, available in English and Spanish.