Bird And" Mammal Damage To Mature Corn In Kentucky And Tennessee

In a survey to determine the extent of blackbird and mammal damage to ripening field corn in Kentucky and Tennessee, 268 0.5 ha plots in 23 Kentucky counties and 170 plots in 13 Tennessee counties were examined in the fall of 1977. Plots were randomly chosen so that counties with more corn had a greater chance of being surveyed. In Kentucky, blackbird damage to ripening corn averaged 0.48%, or approximately 609,000 bushels valued at $1,218,000 out of a total crop valued at $253,800,000. In Tennessee, blackbird damage averaged 0.39% or approximately 185,000 bushels valued at $380,000 out of a total crop valued at $97,272,000. Mammal damage, mainly raccoon (Procyon lotor), was also negligible, with estimates of O. I7% of the corn destroyed by mammals in both states. This amounted to a loss approximating $430,000 for Kentucky and $165,000 for Tennessee. Although overall blackbird and mammal damage to ripening corn in Kentucky and Tennessee during 1977 is estimated to be 1,114,000 bushels valued at $2,193,000, the per ha loss is so low it precludes the use of most damage control techniques. However, damage in a few plots sampled was sufficiently high to warrant the use of control techniques. In comparison with 1970 and 1971 surveys, damage appears to be increasing.

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