Goehring approves bird repellent for corn growers

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has issued special local needs (SLN) registrations to Arkion Life Sciences LLC, allowing North Dakota corn farmers to use Avipel® Hopper Box Corn Seed Treatment and Avipel Liquid Seed Treatment to repel ring-necked pheasants.

“Over the past 10 years, pheasant populations have risen to levels in some parts of the state to cause significant economic loss to corn growers,” Goehring said. “Farmers have reported pheasants eating corn seeds of corn seedlings shortly after planting. In some cases, producers have lost entire stands of corn to pheasants.”

Goehring emphasized that the products are non-toxic to pheasants or other birds.

“The active ingredient in Avipel is a naturally occurring, organic chemical that causes an unpleasant gut reaction in birds that eat treated seeds,” he said. “The birds avoid treated seeds and seek other food.”

Goehring said using scare tactics such as decoy owls and noisemakers have proven ineffective, and that management by hunting is inconsistent.

“Because no federally registered avicide or bird repellent is available to manage pheasant populations or deter pheasant feeding on corn seed or seedlings, I have determined this is a special local need and have issued these SLN registrations,” Goehring said.

The SLN labeling allows use of Avipel as a seed treatment at a rate of 0.5 pounds of active ingredient per 100 pounds of seed.

Users must comply with all restrictions, precautions, and the directions found in the SLN labeling and have a copy of the labeling must be in their possession during application.

North Dakota ranked 12th and in the U.S. in production of corn for grain in 2011 and is expected to climb in rank in coming years.