Limiting bird damage to fruit crops:
Integrating economic, biological, & consumer information to determine testable management strategies for the future
Fruit producers have identified bird damage as a critical issue that has received limited attention from researchers. A USDA study estimated that birds cost producers in seven states tens of millions of dollars through fruit loss and management efforts. Despite these costs, research has been uncoordinated and piecemeal, leaving producers with few affordable management options. Our transdisciplinary, multi-state team will address bird damage to blueberries, cherries, wine grapes, and ''Honeycrisp'' apples with a systems approach. Our long-term goal is to provide producers with cost-effective, environmentally sustainable bird management strategies.
To achieve this goal we will:
1) quantify economic consequences of bird damage for producers, consumers, and regional economies
2) determine how bird damage varies within and across spatial scales (orchard, landscape, region)
3) identify amounts of damage attributable to specific bird species across crops and regions
4) investigate consumer responses to management strategies and potential effects on marketing
5) test management strategies for efficacy. We will use the information generated by addressing objectives 1-4 in a systems framework to determine management strategies to be tested in different crops and regions
By coordinating activities among researchers in Michigan, New York, and the Pacific Northwest, and from different disciplines, we will maximize efficiency in addressing this issue on a national scale while providing individual producers with region-specific information to guide their bird management efforts. This Standard Research and Extension Project addresses SCRI emphases on identifying and addressing threats from crop pests and improving long-term production efficiency, productivity, and profitability.