Date of this Version
Linz, G.M. and H.J. Homan. 2013. Demonstration of "Avian Control" bird repellent (a.i., methyl anthranilate) for managing blackbird damage to ripening sunflower. Paper presented at the 35th National Sunflower Association Sunflower Research Workshop, Fargo, North Dakota.
After the reproductive period, blackbirds in the northern Great Plains aggregate in large flocks that feed on ripening crops, especially sunflower. At today’s prices, blackbirds eat about $8–12 million of sunflower annually in northern Great Plains, with most of this damage occurring in North Dakota and South Dakota (Peer et al. 2003). Additional expenditures are incurred by producers trying to protect their crop, including the costs in time, travel, and materials for hazing blackbirds. A chemical feeding repellent would be ideal for protecting sunflower from blackbirds because it would not only cut the amount of losses from foraging but also reduce hazing costs.