Agricultural damage is a concern of farmers and agricultural and wildlife agencies at the state and federal levels. We compared questionnaire and independent on-the-ground sampling results to obtain estimates of wildlife-related damage to the 1995 corn crop in Pennsylvania, USA. We sampled 222 randomly selected cornfields (2.5 ± 0.65 ha; x̄ ± SE) and the respective operators. Pennsylvania farmers reported an average of 33 ± 1.3 years of farming experience, 60% had >75% of their income from farming, and 49% were dairy farmers. They owned 125.4 ± 11.33 ha of which 55.8 ± 4.05 ha were planted in corn. Average corn yield was 7.31 m3/ha (84 bu/ac), which was negatively influenced by drought. Average wildlife-related loss was 0.48 m3/ha (5.5 bu/ac); white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) loss was 0.35 m3/ha (4.0 bu/ac). For 132 farms, we had the farmer's (farm-wide) and the on-the-ground (field-specific) estimates of wildlife damage. The correlation between loss estimates (r = 0.263, P = 0.0013) was low. But no difference (t = 1.30, P = 0.196) occurred between the mean estimates of corn loss (x̄ ± SE) reported by farmers for the farm (9.68 ± 0.89%) and the on-the-ground estimate for a field (7.67 ± 1.27%).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Nature and Landscape Conservation