Avipel Crane Deterrent Seed Treatment

April 12, 2019

MSU Extension hosted a webinar in March, 2019 to inform crop producers about wildlife species that can impact field crop production and options for control.  In this video, Dan Propst of Arkion Life Sciences, makers of Avipel crane deterrent seed treatment, describes the product and its usefulness in managing sandhill crane.

Video Transcript

 I wanted to spend some time talking about Avipel today and I will keep it fairly short. Some of it, we've already talked about it a little bit. One thing I've learned today is that in the seed core market if you don't have a lot of options for replanting. We often talk about commercial corn and do you have the option to replant. But in seed core that may not be the case. So what we're doing with Avipel is trying to stop yield loss due to bird damage. And we have several birds that are labeled for Avipel and the one we're discussing today of course, is cranes. The active ingredient in this product anthraquinone. Now, this product has been researched by the USDA for about 40 years, so we know it's very effective. It creates a negative gut reaction in the bird that is non toxic. But it's also a learned response. So what a learned response means is that the birds are gonna have to get out there and sample the seed. And depending on how many birds you got, you could see a little more or less damage. But the more birds you have, the more sampling that's gonna take the case. But a lot of times we say, if they try a few kernels they're probably going to stop sampling the field and move on to other things in the field that they may eat. So the product is labeled in Michigan in field corn and sweet corn. And of course field corn would include seed corn. By using liquid, we do have two formulations. Using liquid you can, or it permits you to apply that product ahead of time, ahead of your busy season. It can be done this time of year. But the dry product, that's generally done in the field. And it's a cost effective treatment. First, I don't know the economics of seed corn, but I know it's a fairly high-value crop. In field corn we figure about 1.5% yield loss, or about $7.50 per acre is what it takes to pay for the product. So it's a pretty low cost effective product. The liquid can be put on ahead of time, generally in the field. There are some seed companies that will pre-treat it but you need to check with your seed company to see if they're willing to do that. As far as the product, the product is fairly... It's labeled caution on the label, so I know the one presenter talked about getting sick with the product. I've never actually heard that before. Do keep in mind you should read your labels, it does talk about using gloves and also a mask. Especially if you use the goggles, and those are just generally things that you should do when applying pesticides, so keep that in mind. Keep in mind that we had a product that was making people sick all the time, it wouldn't be as widely accepted as it is. So just make sure you follow your label. Also the product is non-soluble, so once it's on the seed it doesn't move around a lot. It's biodegradable, so it's not really a hindrance to the environment from that standpoint. Just to show you the typical bird damage. And there was a question that came up, do you have to wait for the corn to come up? Generally the birds are able to sense that sprouting seed. And they, believe it or not, can go right down the row and pick those seeds out. Another picture here of some damage in a field. This is of course, corn that's larger, and you can see the corn on the ground where they had just taken the seed. What I tend to find is that if a person is using liquid Avipel versus dry, you might get a little longer performance. So you should consider that. Now in Michigan we have about 100% of our Avipel that's used is dry. We'd certainly like to see more liquid used in our high use states like Wisconsin for cranes. We have about 80% of the product goes out in a liquid form. Here's some more results, just another example of what you can see the difference is to the line with bird damage. So with that, not a lot of other information. There's a liquid formulation and there's dry formulation, the cost is the same, it pretty straight forward. The dry formulation. Just a couple things I'd like to add on that is that, it allows you to use it right in the field. And sometimes I know with seed corn companies it's hard to get that pre-treated, whereas with your, talking commercial corn, sometimes your seed retailers are more willing to put liquid on. But if you are using the dry, some reasons that we might be having some issues in the field. Is first of all, I would highly recommend you pre-mix that seed corn with the Avipel before you mix it in the box. If you're just dumping the seed and throwing the Avipel on the top, you're clearly not getting good enough mixing or application. The other thing you look at with Avipel is to apply the Avipel first if you're applying talc. Because you don't want to put the talc on because your Avipel is not gonna stick to your corn seed if you have talc. And if you can stop using talc in those fields, I would certainly ask you to try that. And the other things is that sometimes our planters have a lot of blowers on them to move seed around. You know, the center fills. If you can, if possible, reduce your air pressure on that planter, that'll help that dry stay on. And obviously you can tell I'm leaning, I lean to putting liquid on, although it is harder to do in the field and may not fit in all situations. So with that, I would just tell you that product is available through local retailers or seed corn suppliers. I don't have my contact information, but if you just do www.avipel.com and leave a message, or search us on the internet, you can certainly get a hold of the company or get a hold of me. Or the other guys can get a hold of me also.