Peak season for deer activity means crop loss for Kentucky farmers

Posted on Oct 2, 2013
Louisville, KY (October 2, 2014) – As Kentucky’s deer population enters its annual three-month peak of activity in October, November and December, motorists and farmers across the state are simultaneously on the lookout for these animals. Drivers must use extra caution when headed through wooded areas to avoid the potential for a roadside collision with a deer, and farmers find themselves with a greater number of the animals foraging from and damaging their crops.

Deer typically graze off of farmers' forages and row crops, causing substantial income losses.

Safe driving and the prevention of loss and injury on the roadways have always been of utmost importance to Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB). However, KFB is also a strong supporter of effective wildlife management practices that prevent deer and other wildlife populations from causing significant economic losses to agriculture or threatening the safety and well-being of Kentuckians on the roadways. As the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources does not currently have anyone specifically dedicated to help solve human-wildlife conflicts, KFB advocated for legislation that enhanced state laws granting farmers rights to eradicate wildlife pests such as beaver, deer, coyote, raccoon, etc., that are found causing damage to crops.

All people are adversely affected by the actions of wildlife whether they realize it or not. Every consumer pays more for commodities when supplies are decreased or damaged by wildlife. According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), deer populations that feed off of local farms are a widespread and expensive problem. NASS statistics reveal that wildlife across the nation annually causes $619 million in field crop damages and an additional $147 million in losses to fruit and nuts. Within those figures, deer were found directly responsible for 58 percent of the damage to field crops and vegetables and 33 percent of the damages to fruit and nuts.

Deer and the many other forms of wildlife that live in Kentucky are a beautiful and important part of this state’s natural landscape. They provide numerous positive recreational and economic opportunities, but deer can also cause a myriad of problems. A high volume of collisions with vehicles, decreased agricultural productivity, the spread of disease and other general nuisances are among the issues that require attention and resolution. Established as one of its priority issues for 2014, Kentucky Farm Bureau continues to support effective wildlife management programs that will reduce the wildlife population in order to diminish this source of crop loss, automobile accidents, human injuries, and loss of life.

Tagged Post Topics Include: Beaver, Coyote, Crop Loss, Crops, Deer, NASS, Priority Issues, Raccoon, Safety, USDA, Wildlife management