While you can’t prevent 100% of wildlife from your field crops, there are some things you can do to prevent and reduce animal contamination.
Florida is well-know for its abundant wildlife, and that wildlife easily crosses the borders from wild lands into fields filled with crop. Usually wild animals are after food, and they are generally going to leave the end-product associated with eating in the fields in which they feed. This can lead to contamination of field crops, but there are steps farmers can take to prevent or reduce contamination, according to a GrowingProduce.com article. See their tips below.
Reduce Animal Contamination of Field Crops
In an interesting point in the article, Anne Justice-Allen, an Arizona Game & Fish Department Wildlife Veterinarian. Is quoted as maintaining that, if tested for E. coli, about one or two deer out of 100 will test positive, while 10 to 20 cattle would test positive.
While domesticated animals have higher carry rates, University of Georgia researcher Michael Doyle shared that “Zoonotic pathogens not only proliferate within domesticated animals but may also be resident within wildlife as a pathogen reservoir [with] the ability to easily intrude on farms.”
Food Safety and Wildlife Extension Specialist at the University of Arizona Agriculture Center in Yuma, Paula Rivadeneira, shared deterrents. “I encourage growers to go back to nature in trying to manage wildlife incursions, because studies have shown that some practices will actually force animals into the field,” she said in the article. Deterrents include:
- Noise cannons
- Mylar strips
- Live gunfire
- Sounds of injured wildlife (meant to deter that species, but can attract predators)
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.