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Wisconsin ag department seeking public input on Avipel

Wisconsin ag department seeking public input on Avipel

The seed treatment helps protect planted corn from sandhill cranes

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A state ag department is accepting public comments related to the use of a corn seed treatment.

Until Oct. 28, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is receiving comments related to a special pesticide registration to let corn growers in the state use Avipel Hopper Box corn seed treatment to minimize damage from sandhill cranes.

Citizens have submitted comments since Oct. 21.

If approved, the new permit would go through July 31, 2023.

Sandhill cranes dig up and feed on the planted seeds, causing extensive damage.

“Damage levels occasionally reach 50 to 60 percent,” the USDA said in a 2017 report. “Often, entire fields must be replanted, at a significant cost to the grower.”

Avipel is a non-lethal control method.

And because Wisconsin law protects the cranes from hunters, producers are limited in how they can minimize crop damage.

Some farmers use propane cannons to scare the birds away. But this tool can cause the birds to travel to another field.

The seed treatment “deters cranes from eating the seed corn because of its bad taste and laxative effect.”

Citizens have been submitting comments since Oct. 21.

Special pesticide registrations “allow pesticide products to be used for purposes other than those listed on the label – against pests not listed, on crops not listed, or other variations from the label.

Avipel’s most recent two-year permit registration expired on July 31.

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