Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version



Damage from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) has become a common complaint of soybean (Glycine max) producers in many areas of the Southeast. Both short- and long-term, single-field and community-wide solutions to this problem are needed. This paper describes a multi-agency, multi-state effort, involving agronomists, wildlife biologists, producers, and other landowners, to assess soybean losses from deer and to evaluate potential solutions. One phase of this work, which is supported by soybean producer checkoff funds, involves evaluating agronomic practices for reducing crop losses. These include drilled (rather than wide-row) plantings and use of insect-resistant or dense-pubescent cultivars (varieties) which may deter browsing, especially where deer pressure is light to moderate. Evaluations of these practices, in comparison with conventional ones, are being conducted in producer’s fields in SC, NC, and VA. The other phase of this work is a cooperative project involving Clemson University, the SC Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, soybean producers and’ other landowners in a 7500-acre tract in Hampton and Jasper Cos., SC. The deer population in this tract will be monitored and reduced over a 3-year period, and the resulting effects on soybean crop losses and herd quality will be assessed.