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


Date of this Version



Published in 31st National Sunflower Association Sunflower Research Forum.


The last comprehensive field surveys of bird damage to sunflower in North Dakota were conducted in 1979 and 1980. Average economic damage across years was slightly over US $5.0 million. Sunflower prices have appreciably increased since these monetary losses were calculated.

As corn acreages in North Dakota have increased, so have complaints from growers about blackbird damage to corn. Quantitative surveys of blackbird damage to corn, however, have never been conducted in North Dakota.

The goal of our multi-year study is to quantify blackbird damage to sunflower and corn crops in the Prairie Pothole Region, the principal corn and sunflower growing area in North Dakota (Fig. 1).