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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Rodent Management for Surface Drip Irrigation Tubing in Peanut

  • Author(s): Sorensen, Ronald B.
  • Nuti, Russell C.
  • Lamb, Marshall C.
  • et al.

Surface drip irrigation of field crops has been gaining interest in the farming community. However, rodent damage is one of the major drawbacks for SD acceptance. This research documents the cost of repairing drip tubing and effective­ness of several rodent control methods. Four sites were used to identify cost of repairing tubing. Treatments included untreated drip tubing, tubing that was lightly buried, sprayed with an insecticide or animal repellent, and edible rodenticide placed next to the tubing. Once a leak was found, it took an average of 4 minutes to repair the hole. Each repair had an average cost of $0.67 for labor and repair materials. This does not include time or transportation cost to find the leak. Rodent damage was the same in the untreated versus any chemical management technique. At Site 4, the animal repellent, Ropel® did have less rodent damage (2,392 holes/ha) compared with the untreated (6,049 holes/ha); however, the damage was extensive enough that it was more economical to replace than to repair the tubing. The drip tubing that was slightly buried had the best rodent control (5 holes/ ha) compared with all other treatments (1,771 holes/ha). One disadvantage of burying the drip tubing is removal. Strip tillage along with burying the drip tubing showed excellent resistance to rodent damage and appears to be a cost effective management tool for surface drip irrigation

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