Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

November 1995


In recent years the primary cause of reduced plant stands in no-till crops planted into heavy residue has been small eared rodents called voles (Microtus spp.). Past research has indicated that severe stand reductions (80 to 100 percent) can occur if vole populations in the field exceed 75 per hectare (30 per acre) at planting time. This vole population should be considered intense. If field scouting about 30 days prior to planting reveals at least 12 active vole colonies per hectare (five per acre) an intense population can develop, and damage control measures should be planned. Of all the legal techniques currently available for vole damage control in no-till, utilizing a combination of "habitat modification" techniques may be the most effective, lowest cost, easiest to complete, and safest on the environment. Second in all of these categories would be use of pre-emergence herbicides and broadcast alternative food such as corn or soybean.