Avipel Project and Sandhill Crane Q&A

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, James DeDecker explains the opportunity for spring 2019 to work with MSU Extension to trial Avipel crane seed treatment on your farm.  The video finishes with a brief time of Q&A.

Video Transcript

 - [James] So, as Dan mentioned, we're looking to do some demonstration work with Avipel in the field this year. So as you can see, we're seeking cooperators in two regions of Michigan, particularly the Upper Peninsula and Southwest Michigan. So if you are located in the U.P., growing corn somewhere in this region or closer to Eric down in the southwest, we are interested in working with you. There may be opportunities as well in the northern Lower Peninsula. We have a colleague there that might be able to help facilitate some of these demonstration fields there, so keep that in mind as well if you're in the tip of the mitt. But the idea here is that we want growers to supply pairs of cornfields, that we can randomly assign, treated with Avipel versus an untreated control situation too. Ideally, these would be fields that have a history of crane damage and smaller fields, not only because those small, isolated fields maybe tend to be more prone to damage, but also because we're looking at supplying one canister of Avipel per grower, and that should treat about 10 acres. So if you have two 10-acre cornfields that have a history of crane damage, that would be ideal for this situation. We can talk to you about larger fields and how we can maybe incorporate those as well, so if you only have large fields, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't participate. But basically, the grower is gonna apply the Avipel to one of the two fields that we'll randomly select out of the pair, and then at the end of the point where damage is occurring, around V4. We heard today, actually, from a grower that they felt like they were seeing damage even later than that, V5 or V6, so maybe we'll delay a little bit. But at about that point in the season, we'll come out and take some stand counts, both in your treated and untreated fields, to try to understand the difference. You know, this is more demonstration than it is research, but the hope here is to give people some experience with the product, to be able to document some of the outcomes of using Avipel, talk to the growers to see what they felt about applying the product, how effective it was, what they experienced in terms of crane behavior in those treated and untreated fields. So if you're interested in participating in this project, getting a chance to demonstrate Avipel, please contact myself, James DeDecker, at the phone number or email listed there, or my colleague Brook Wilke. He's at Kellogg Biological Station. I'm sure Eric would be willing to field some of these requests as well, too, so if you're familiar with Eric down there in the St. Joe County office, I'm sure he could help connect you to this opportunity as well. - [Interviewer] Great, thanks James. I actually have just a couple questions, and Dan, I think probably you're the best one to answer the first one. The question is, is Avipel, is it labeled for, and is it effective against, turkey and geese? - [Dan] Okay, we get that question a lot, and first of all, on geese, sometimes geese are grazing the top of the plant, and Avipel does not translocate. So if you're grazing off the top, it's not gonna work on geese at all. Of course, keep in mind that we're not labeled on those. That's something we're certainly willing to look at. We wonder about turkeys, and if we are effective on turkeys. As you noticed, we have a lot of birds that are listed there. We've not labeled turkeys, but, so, I guess I can't give you a real straight answer, only to say that geese are, you're probably getting damage later in the season, maybe not affecting the seed, and with turkeys, don't have a lot of good details on that, but certainly something that if there's an issue, that we could maybe look at some special labeling down the road if that would become something that's more, something that's an issue in your area. - [Interviewer] And a second question is for Tim. Tim, the question has to do with the cost for the crane depredation permits. You mentioned that it was $100 for the permit. Is that an annual fee, or is there a reduction when you are just renewing that permit? - [Tim] The $100 fee, that's an annual fee, and then the $50 fee. What that is, is there's two costs. One is, the Fish & Wildlife service charges $100 fee for businesses, and they consider farms as businesses, but the $50 fee there is for homeowners. And so if you're a homeowner with damage by woodpeckers, it's $50. But then they also say in the fine print, an amendment is $50. And I think it's like, for example, if you hit your limit of cranes and want another X number of cranes, then it would be $50 for the extra, for the amendment, in other words.