U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

April 1998


Crop Protection Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 225-230, 1998. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. Printed in Great Britain. Permission to use.


Application of bird-repellent chemicals to seed prior to planting is one possible approach to reducing bird damage to rice. Anthraquinone is a promising seed treatment compound, and in this paper we describe a sequence of tests evaluating a formulated commercial anthraquinone product. In l-cup cage tests, rice consumption by individual male red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and female boat-tailed grackles (Quiscalus major) was reduced 64-93% by 0.5 and 1.0% (g/g) anthraquinone treatments. Daily rice consumption by single male boat-tailed grackles tested in large enclosures was reduced from > 14 g in pretreatment to < 1 g by a 1.0% treatment. One of five test birds ate nothing during a 1 day post-treatment session. In a 7 day trial within a 0.2 ha flight pen, a group of four male grackles consumed 1.3% of anthraquinone-treated rice seed compared to 84.1% of sorghum, a nonpreferred alternate food. At two study sites in southwestern Louisiana, loss of rice sprouts in 2 ha plots sown with anthraquinone-treated seed was 0 and 12% compared to losses of 33% and 98% in nearby untreated plots. The formulation performed well at every stage of testing, and further development of anthraquinone products for bird-damage management is warranted.