DATCP Explores Non-Lethal Crane Deterrent

DATCP is taking public comment until Thursday for a proposed special pesticide registration to allow corn growers to use Avipel Hopper Box (dry) corn seed treatment.

It’s a nonlethal repellent to prevent sandhill cranes from feeding on planted corn. Sandhill cranes dig in the soil to feed on seed corn, and can cause up to 60 percent of crop loss.

Avipel deters cranes from eating the seed corn because of its bad taste and laxative effect. It is non-lethal, effective and there are no other comparable repellants available. UW-Madison, the International Crane Foundation and Wisconsin Corn Growers Association support the special registration to address the problem of crop damage from sandhill cranes.

About three-quarters of Wisconsin’s 4 million acres of cornfields are in a potential crane habitat. The highest risk counties include Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green Lake, Jefferson, Marquette, Waushara and Winnebago, where 60 percent of the state’s cranes are found. In fields planted with untreated seed, crop loss ranges from 20 to 60 percent. More than 25 other states also permit the use of Avipel, which is manufactured by Arkion Life Sciences, LLC.

The previous two-year permit registration for Avipel expired July 31. No reports of adverse effects were received during the previous registration. Avipel contains the active ingredient 9, 10-anthraquinone – a naturally occurring aromatic compound. The proposed registration will go through July 31, 2023.

The preliminary environmental assessment indicates that the proposed registration will not require a full environmental assessment. For a copy of the assessment, contact:

Alyssa Foss, DATCP
P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI, 53708-8911

[email protected] 

Submit comments to Alyssa Foss by mail at the above postal address or email. Comments received on or before 4:30 p.m. on Thursday will become part of the preliminary environmental assessment record.