Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version



We surveyed nursery producers in New York to determine the extent, nature and economic impact of deer damage to their operations, and to assess their attitudes towards deer. Seventy-three percent of the producers experienced deer damage to their crops in 1988. Average costs for replacement were nearly $6,000 per grower for those reporting damage estimates (and over $8,000 if 1 extreme value was included). Statewide damage estimates ranged from $500,000 to $1.2 million (depending on assumptions). Forty-six percent used damage control, which cost an average of about $2,000 per grower. More than 80% of the producers were classified as "non-accepting" of deer damage and deer populations. We also reviewed several deer damage studies to compare economic and attitudinal impacts of deer damage to various agricultural constituencies. Nursery producers, orchardists, and Christmas tree growers appear to incur the greatest per capita deer damage costs. Of agriculturists, nursery producers and orchardists appear to be the least accepting of deer and deer damage. Deer managers and policy makers may need to consider the nursery producers in the same "at risk" category as orchardists.