The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has declared a crisis exemption to allow the use of anthraquinone (Avitec) for repelling blackbirds and crows in freshly planted corn fields in Tennessee.

Avitec is a non-lethal, natural compound that repels birds when they feed on a small amount of corn seed. Avitec is available for use on corn seed as a liquid or dry formulation.

The liquid material must be applied at a commercial seed treatment facility, but has the advantage of more consistent coating and may be more effective on large birds or with high bird populations. The dry formulation is a hopper box material that may be applied on an as needed basis by a producer in the field at planting.

The dry hopper box material may be less effective with air or vacuum planters which may not allow material to adhere to seed. This product retails for around $5 per acre.