Repel cranes in 2009

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Avipel seed treatment (formerly Avitec) is available again in 2009 to repel sandhill cranes in field and sweet corn planted in Michigan, as well as Wisconsin and Minnesota. The active ingredient in Avipel is 9-10 anthraquinone, a natural plant compound that birds find distasteful. The birds detect the treated seed and avoid feeding on the corn. However, cranes may still be present in treated fields feeding on other seeds, worms or insects such as grubs. Avipel can be applied as a liquid seed treatment or on-farm in the dry form as a planter box treatment. It is not a restricted use pesticide, and you do not need a DNR permit to apply it. However, you must have a copy of the Section 18 label at the time of application.

If you have time to get seed-treated with liquid Avipel, the liquid is generally more effective because there is better consistency in seed coating. However, in Michigan in 2008, most growers used the dry formulation. The dry material must be mixed well into the planter box, and graphite should not be added. Used properly, though, the dry formulation appeared to work well compared to nearby fields that did not use crane repellent.

The manufacturer, Arkion Lie Sciences, has a good web site ( with pictures of crane damage. Click on “labels” to print the Michigan Section 18 labels for the liquid and dry formulations, and to view research results from the University of Wisconsin

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