Farmers asked to participate in deer crop damage survey
Posted on Oct 12, 2023 at 16:01 PM
Over the last several years, deer have increasingly impacted Georgia farmers, causing damage to multiple crops and economic losses across Georgia’s food and fiber production sector.
Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) is collaborating with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and UGA Extension to conduct a deer impact survey to determine losses from deer activity across the state during the last five years. Data collected from this survey will be used in support of increased mitigation measures and reform, research expansion, and legislative education.
During the GFB Commodity Conference in Athens in August, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper acknowledged the losses and said he’d had firsthand experience with crop damage caused by wildlife.
“I deal with it on my farm, so we’re going to work and hopefully see if we can find a way to help address those issues across the state,” Harper said.
In March, farmers serving on Georgia Farm Bureau’s Feedgrain/Soybean Commodity Advisory Committee identified deer grazing of row crops as a major problem that results in crop yield loss and in some cases additional costs to replant.
One farmer said deer destroyed 80 acres of his 2022 soybean crop, never letting the plants get above 3 inches tall. Another said replanting costs at least $100/acre for seed alone.
A 2017 study by UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources detailed damage and losses experienced by 109 farmers in a 20-county area in Southeast Georgia, resulting in an estimated $3 million in losses.
GFB is asking that agricultural stakeholders help share the 2023 survey through their publications, social media, and other resources. The survey has seven questions, and farmers can submit a survey entry for each county in which their farmers have sustained deer damage.
Farmers may take the survey at https://gfb.ag/deersurvey . The deadline for submissions is Nov. 10. For more information, contact GFB Agricultural Programs Manager Raynor Churchwell at email@example.com or 1-800-342-1196 Ext. 5288.