Exemption granted for Corn Seed Bird Repellent

Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops
By Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops March 13, 2012 22:36

Exemption granted for Corn Seed Bird Repellent

We are pleased to announce the EPA has granted the Mississippi Department of Agriculture a Section 18 emergency exemption allowing the use of anthraquinone, which is an unregistered product marketed as Avipel®, on field or sweet corn seed for the purpose of repelling blackbirds and cowbirds in newly planted corn fields in the state of Mississippi.  Mississippi corn is extremely subject to bird predation because it is the first crop planted early in the spring, when waste seed and alternative food sources available are very low and high wintering blackbird populations are often present.  Furthermore, corn seed and its resultant plant stand are extremely vulnerable to relatively minor stand loss resulting from bird depredation.  Mississippi corn growers have suffered multi-million dollar losses in recent years from bird depredation.

Avipel’s active ingredient is a natural, non-lethal compound proven to repel birds by causing an unpleasant reaction if they feed on corn seed planted in agricultural fields.  Avipel is available for use on corn seed as either a liquid or dry formulation.  The liquid formulation has demonstrated very reliable performance on avian species and is the preferred formulation for high bird pressure fields, but does require commercial seed treating prior to planting.  The dry formulation offers growers the convenience and speediness of hopper-box treatment, but its effectiveness is dependent upon thorough seed coverage and gentle handling.  For example, performance of the dry material may not be as good as the liquid form when used in planters with air or vacuum seed metering systems, because the air circulation may remove some of the product from seeds before planting.  The use of supplemental dry lubricant on the corn seed may also reduce Avipel seed coverage and/or adherence of the dry formulation, and subsequent repellency.

Blackbirds may feed on seed in newly-planted corn fields

Blackbirds can cause significant stand loss which will reduce crop productivity and may necessitate replanting of Mississippi corn fields.

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Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops
By Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops March 13, 2012 22:36
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