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Field trials in East Africa with methiocarb (3, 5-dimethyl-4-(methylthio) phenol methylcarbamate) on sorghum, millet, wheat, barley, triticale, and rice indicate that special problems need considerable evaluation before treatment of a cereal crop for protection from bird damage.
Cereals with exposed seeds (sorghum, millet) may need two treatments for extended protection if bird damage begins shortly after flowering. Shielded seeds (wheat, triticale, barley, rice) may need only one treatment depending upon the period of vulnerability, the time at which bird damage begins, and the type of adhesive used. In dry windy climates, a good adhesive is needed. If damage begins after the glumes have begun to dry, an adhesive is essential indicating that early treatment of shielded seeds is the best practice. Milk has been used as a sticker with limited success when commercial adhesives were unavailable. Experiments with many different test plot sizes indicate that areas of approximately 1000 m2 with 2 to 3 m spacing between repetitive plots work well. No single damage assessment technique is suitable for every trial. The assessment method will depend on time and manpower availability and the degree of precision required. A combination of visual and quantitative methods will often yield a more comprehensive assessment than either method alone. Following the evolution of damage and using good bird censusing techniques are essential to determine the necessity of retreatment.
vertebrate pest control, crop protection, methiocarb, bird repellent, bird damage, cereal crop damage
Supervising biologist, California State Department of Food and Agriculture, Fresno, Calif.
Team leader, eastern zone, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, UNDP/SP Regional Project, Khartoum Base, Khartoum,