Date of this Version
A survey of alfalfa hay producers was conducted to characterize vertebrate pest problems in Nevada alfalfa hay and help attract research funding. Damage to alfalfa hay by pocket gophers (Thomomvs spp), ground squirrels (Spermophilus spp), black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) and meadow voles (Microtus montanus) was assessed. Presence of vertebrate pests along with a ranking of cost-related problems they pose to alfalfa hay operations was determined. Pocket gophers were the most costly pest followed by ground squirrels, jackrabbits, and meadow voles. The number one problem caused by vertebrate pests was identified to be a decrease in hay production. Control techniques were rated as somewhat effective for all rodent and rabbit pests. The costs associated with farm management practices were ranked from highest to lowest in this order: irrigation, rodents and rabbits, weeds, insects, and fertilization.