The EPA has granted the Mississippi Department of Agriculture a Section 18 exemption allowing the use of anthraquinone (Avipel) for repelling blackbirds, grackles and crows in newly planted field or sweet corn in Mississippi. Louisiana has also received Section 18 approval of Avipel.

Avipel’s active ingredient is a natural, non-lethal compound proven to repel birds. It is available for use on corn seed as either a liquid or dry formulation.

According to Mississippi corn Extension specialist Erick Larson, the liquid formulation has demonstrated very reliable performance on large avian species, such as cranes, and is the preferred formulation for high bird pressure fields, but does require commercial seed treating prior to planting.

The dry formulation offers growers the convenience and speediness of hopper‐box treatment, but its effectiveness is dependent upon thorough seed coverage and gentle handling.

For example, performance of the dry material may not be as good as the liquid form when used in planters with air or vacuum seed metering systems, because the air circulation may remove some of the product from seeds before planting. The use of supplemental dry lubricant on the corn seed may also reduce Avipel seed coverage and/or adherence of the dry formulation, and subsequent repellency.