Bird Damage to Sprouting Corn in Kentucky and Tennessee

Loss of corn sprouts to birds (predominantly common grackles, Quiscalus quiscula) was estimated in a O.5-ha plot in each of 270 fields in 36 counties in Kentucky in 1978 and 215 fields in 21 counties in Tennessee in 1979. Estimated loss of sprouts to birds in Kentucky and Tennessee averaged 0.15% (SE = 0.03) and 0.95% (SE = 0041), respectively, for a maximum projected grain harvest loss of about 4,600 metric tons in Kentucky and 12,400 metric tons in Tennessee. Although maximum calculated bird damage to sprouts for both states was $1.8 million, 453 (93%) of the 485 plots surveyed had relatively minor <1%) losses. However, those 32 plots receiving ≥=1 % sprout loss accounted for 82% of all bird damage losses and would have benefitted from recently developed bird repellent seed treatments.

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