Abstract

Title:  Assessing, and reducing soybean crop losses from deer: an interdisciplinary, multi-agency, community effort.
Author(s): Francoeur, L., G. K. Yarrow, D. A. Shipes, and S. U. Wallace
Year: 1994
Abstract: Damage from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virninianus) has become a common complaint of soybean (Glvcine max) producers in many areas of the Southeast. Both short-term and long-term, single-field and community-wide solutions to this problem are needed. This paper describes a multi-agency, multi-state effort, involving agronomists, wildlife biologists, producers, and other landowners to assess soybean losses from deer and to evaluate potential solutions. One phase of the work involves evaluating agronomic practices for reducing crop losses. These include drilled (rather than wide-row) plantings and the use of insect-resistant or dense-pubescent cultivars (varieties), which have shown some promise in deterring deer browsing, especially where deer pressure is light to moderate. Evaluations of these practices, in comparison with conventional ones, are being conducted in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. The other phase of this project is a cooperative effort involving Clemson University, the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, soybean producers and other landowners in a 7500-acre tract in Hampton and Jasper counties, South Carolina. The deer population in this tract is being monitored and reduced over a 3-year period, and the resulting effects on soybean crop losses and herd quality are being assessed. Results should be directly applicable not only to South Carolina, but to other areas of the Southeast that are experiencing high deer densities and subsequent crop damage.

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