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Testing of a chemical (methiocarb) for bird repellency when placed on pearl millet (Penasetum typhoides) was done in Somalia, East Africa, under field conditions. The data show that of two methods of assaying bird numbers, counting birds from a stationary position and counting birds flushed by drivers, the second method gives a better estimate of true numbers. There was 9 percent more damage in the control than in the sprayed plot. This was not a significant difference. At the beginning of the experiment, undamaged heads of millet received nearly the same percent of damage as damaged heads. The data demonstrate the value of assessing damage before application of chemical, during regular intervals following application, and just before harvest. More than one observor should estimate damage. Several suggestions are made about damage assessment techniques.
vertebrate pest control, pearl millet, methiocarb
Senior expert, United Nations Development Program, Food and Agriculture Organization, Mogadiscio,