Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for



Walter W. Stroup

Date of this Version



Acreage in reduced- and no-tillage farming systems has increased markedly in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue. However, small rodent populations thrive in these fields and at times dig and consume newly planted seeds and seedlings. During 1983, no-tillage corn, wheat and grain sorghum fields in western (Red Willow Co.) and eastern (Saline and Jefferson Cos.) Nebraska were evaluated to determine the distribution and food habits of the rodent species present, the damage to crops, and the availability of alternate rodent food sources. During June (post-emergence) and August (maximum corn height), 676 rodents were captured in 11 corn fields, and during July, 105 rodents were captured in 2 wheat and 2 sorghum fields. Species captured included thirteen-lined ground squirrels (spermophilusilus tr decemlineatus), Ord's kangaroo rats (Diopodomys ordii), deer mice (Peromysous m a niculatus), ndT-thern grasshopper mice (onychomys leucogaster), voles (Microtus spp.), hispid pocket mice (Pero nathus hispidus) western harvest mice (Reithrodontomys to megalotis), house mice (M= musculus and short-tailed shrews (Blarina bre i auda). Rodents were distributed throughout study fields although the sample size of several species was not great enough to determine patterns.