Sep 10, 2019
MSU seeks state growers’ input on wildlife damage to crops

Agricultural producers face a plethora of wildlife issues on the farm, from biosecurity in animal agriculture to food safety requirements for fresh produce farmers. Many wildlife species have social or economic value and may be regulated or protected, constraining timely mitigation strategies. Additionally, research and science-based management recommendations to help farmers address wildlife on the farm are limited, available for some crops and pest species but not others.

Bird damage to tomato with secondary fungi causing rot. Photo: Erin Lizotte/MSU Extension.

The last national United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey of U.S. wildlife damage to agriculture took place in 2001 and estimated $944 million in losses. At the national level, primary wildlife species resulting in losses to field crops included deer, turkeys, raccoons and waterfowl (collectively 75% of the reported losses), with 22% attributed to other species.

For vegetables, fruits and nuts, deer, ground squirrels and other small rodents, crows, raccoons and rabbits were most frequently reported (64%), with other species accounting for 36% of the reported losses. All of these species have the potential to significantly impact agriculture in the Midwest as they are generally abundant and widespread in agriculture-dominated landscapes.

In an effort to identify and address agriculture and wildlife priorities in Michigan, Michigan State University (MSU) has developed a brief survey (less than 3 minutes) and are asking all farmers to participate. The results of the survey will drive future research and mitigation efforts.

Take the survey at: https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bxRIhLjhPa5EkuN

The survey is tablet- and mobile-friendly. The survey must be completed before Sept. 21, 2019.


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