Many of our set-aside fields in Iowa are planted in brome grass, pictured above. For the first few years of a stand of brome's life, it supports birds. As brome grows older, it gets thicker, becoming difficult for baby pheasants to move around in, crowding out many seed-bearing plants that provide food for chicks. It is also so short as to make worthless winter cover if any snow falls at all. Pheasants can neither reproduce in brome grass nor winter in it, and so, fields of formerly great cover become pheasant deserts. This is why hunters can walk miles of grass where they used to shoot lots of birds and see nothing at all and then, since it looks more or less the same, they blame predators.