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Bird Management in Fruit Crops: How We Make Progress

  • Author(s): Lindell, Catherine A.
  • Shwiff, Stephanie A.
  • Howard, Philip H.
  • et al.
Abstract

Fruit producers have identified bird damage as a critical issue that has received limited attention from researchers. A USDA study estimated that birds cost producers in seven states tens of millions of dollars through fruit loss and management efforts. Despite these costs, research has been uncoordinated and piecemeal, leaving producers with few, well-tested management options. We describe several objectives to strive for in order to achieve the goal of providing producers with region-specific, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable bird management strategies. These objectives include 1) quantifying economic consequences of bird damage for producers, consumers, and regional economies, and determining costs and benefits of various management techniques; 2) identifying amounts of damage attributable to specific bird species across crops and regions; 3) determining how bird damage varies within and across spatial scales (orchard, landscape, region); 4) evaluating consumer responses to management strategies and potential effects on marketing; 5) integrating economic, biological, and consumer information, i.e. using a systems approach, to determine the management strategies that should be tested; and 6) testing management strategies for efficacy with replicated, well-controlled experimental designs. By focusing on these objectives and coordinating activities among researchers and extension personnel from different regions of the country and from different disciplines, we will maximize efficiency in addressing this issue on a national scale while providing individual producers with region-specific information to guide their bird management efforts. Communication among researchers, extension personnel, and producers will be critical to minimize the costs of bird damage.

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