Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Proceedings of the 11th Wildlife Damage Management Conference. (D.L. Nolte, K.A. Fagerstone, Eds). 2005.


When deer populations become locally overabundant, browsing of ornamental and agronomic plants negatively affects plant establishment, survival, and productivity. Milorganite® is a slow-release, organic fertilizer produced from human sewage. We tested Milorganite® as a deer repellent on chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemums morifolium) in an urban/suburban environment, and soybeans (Gycine max) in a rural agriculture environment. Six beds of chrysanthemums at two sites were monitored for 28 to 35 days. Treatment plants received a top dressing of 104 grams of Milorganite® (1120.9 kg/ha). Milorganite® treated plants had more (P < 0.001) terminal buds and achieved greater height (P < 0.002) compared to controls at one site, however damage observed was similar at the second site. In a second experiment, 0.2-ha plots of soybeans (Glycine max) were planted on five rural properties in northeastern Georgia and monitored for ≥ 30 days. Treated areas received 269 kg/ha of Milorganite®. In 4 of 5 sites, Milorganite® delayed browsing on treated plants from 1 week to > 5 weeks post-planting. Duration of the protection appeared to be related to the difference in deer density throughout most of the study areas. Results of this study indicate Milorganite® has potential use as a deer repellent.