Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


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The prairie vole (Microtus ochragaster) is the primary rodent that reduces no-till crop plant stands in Southern Illinois. Because the vole requires a full canopy cover for protection from predators, established grass or legume sod fields and field borders (including wheat or rye stubble, set-aside and cover crop seedings) provide an ideal habitat for the development of a very high population of this rodent. In fields that have had the vegetative cover maintained for more than one year prior to planting no-till corn, plant stand reductions can reach 80 to 100 percent in intense (more than 30 per acre) vole populated areas.