Blackbirds and starlings can be a severe problem in sweet corn; the birds shred the husks and peck the kernels, rendering the ears unmarketable. Even more frustrating, losses occur just before harvest, after growers have already invested time and inputs into the crop. Many sweet corn growers use some combination of scare guns, pyrotechnics, and hunting. As some of these methods are consider controversial and illegal, farmers, politicians, and regulators are very interested in a practical alternative for protecting crops.
Dr. Rebecca Brown and her colleagues at the University of Rhode Island (URI) want to explore the impact of laser scarecrows on bird damage in fresh market sweet corn production. They are conducting a short survey that asks questions about crop production and bird damage you have experienced. The goal of this survey is to gather preliminary information for grant applications. The survey can be found here: https://riepr.org/s/birds.
If you have experienced bird damage in sweet corn, and if you would like to help URI do research on this problem, please consider filling out the survey to provide them with some preliminary information! With questions or comments about the project, please email Rebecca Brown's team directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.