Bird Repellent Available for Corn Seed

Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops
By Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops February 14, 2013 21:00

Bird Repellent Available for Corn Seed

Red-winged BlackbirdIf you need some help deterring blackbirds or other ground-feeding birds from ruining your corn stand, you can make plans now regarding the product Avipel®.  Avipel has been granted a 24c label allowing its’ use on field or sweet corn seed for the purpose of repelling blackbirds and cowbirds in newly planted corn fields in the state of Mississippi.  Avipel’s active ingredient, anthraquinone, 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 in two different formulations for your use.  There is a liquid formulation which is the preferred formulation for areas or fields with high bird populations, due to better seed coverage and adherence during the planting process.  If you wish to use the liquid formulation, you should make arrangements for seed treatment prior to planting.   The dry formulation offers you 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.

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.

Good luck during the 2013 planting season!

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 February 14, 2013 21:00
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