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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Characteristics of bird-resistance in agricultural crops

  • Author(s): Bullard, Roger W.
  • et al.

The use of biochemical or morphological genetic traits in a crop to protect ripening seeds or grain from bird damage remains a promising tool under certain situations. Research on bird-resistance in crops has focused on grain sorghum, com, sunflower and rice. This crop protection method involves feeding behavior of granivorous birds and its effectiveness depends on the availability of preferred alternate foods. That is, bird-resistant traits provide protection to the crop when other food choices are readily available; however, when alternate food is scarce or high bird populations create serious feeding competition, they are less effective. Several practical factors (i.e., efficacy expectations, agronomic considerations, and cost-effectiveness) were discussed that should be considered in adopting this bird damage control strategy.

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