Date of this Version
An effective, economic, and environmentally safe bird repellent is needed to reduce blackbird (Icterinae) depredations to newly planted rice. We evaluated Flight ControlTM, a 50% anthraquinone product, as a seed treatment for newly planted rice. We treated rice seed with Flight Control at a 2% (g/g) concentration (1% active anthraquinone) the day of planting. This concentration reduced the number of blackbirds (P=0.0003) using treated fields and blackbird damage to rice seed (P=0.0124). The chemical concentration of anthraquinone on rice seed averaged 0.79% (SE=0.06%) at planting; 0.39% (SE= 0.04%) at day I, 0.34% (SE=0.05%) at day 3, and 0.41% (SE=0.06%) at day 5 post-planting. Rice seedling counts were similar between treated and untreated exclosures, suggesting that Flight Control had no phytotoxic effects to rice seed. Our results showed Flight Control to be an effective blackbird repellent that warrants further development as a management tool to reduce blackbird damage to newly planted rice and other agricultural commodities.