Controlling Bird Damage in Corn Fields



Crows, geese and other bird pests are a perennial problems for Delaware County corn growers.  Gravely soils near bird roosting and nesting areas are particularly vulnerable.  Cornell Cooperative Extension has been demonstrating the use of Avipel Shield bird repellent seed treatment to limit the damage birds cause to emerging corn.

Birds attack corn stands soon after the plants emerge by pulling the small plants to get at the corn seed still attached to the developing root system.  Planting corn more deeply (2 1/2 inches vs 1 1/2 inches) can help deter pulling, but achieving a uniform seeding depth in more gravely soils is not always possible.  Avipel treatment coats each kernel with a protective coating that causes birds immediate, yet temporary, digestive distress.  After attempting to eat newly planted seed, birds quickly look elsewhere, leaving newly planted fields

unharmed.  Avipel Shield’s active ingredient is an organic chemical found in a number of plant species, including aloe vera and rhubarb. While being a particularly effective agent for repelling birds, it is non-lethal to them.

Field scale demonstrations in Delaware County have shown sections of  corn fields planted with seed treated with the bird repellent had  more than 2500 more plants per acre greater than sections planted with untreated seed.

Demonstration Trials in Delaware County and across New York State will be continuing in the 2018 season.  (Thanks to NY Farm Viability Institute and New York Corn Growers for funding this project)

For more information email Dale Dewing [email protected]

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