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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Student Research-in-Progress Poster Display. Impacts and Influence of Deer Density on Corn and Soybean Yields in Western Kentucky

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AUTHOR: Jonathan Matthews, University of Kentucky

ABSTRACT: In the Midwestern United States, corn (Zea mays) and soybean (Glycine max) are two of the most abundantly grown crops. White-tailed deer (Odocoilius virginanus) commonly feed on these crops when available, and yield losses are often attributed to their browsing. Deer impact on these crops is well studied. Recent research suggests that deer may not significantly impact crop yields. In addition, the link between deer density and yield loss is not well established. Our objectives are to determine the impacts of deer browsing on corn and soybean, and determine if deer density correlates to yield loss in the Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky, a landscape resembling the southern Midwest. To estimate the impacts deer have on crop yields, we systematically assigned 1 of 2 treatments (i.e. protected and no protection) to plots in 3 distance classes (10m, 30m, and 50m) from a wooded field edge during the 2017 growing season. We established and harvested 180 plots of corn across 3 farms and 156 plots of soybeans across 2 farms. Deer density was estimated using both the Jacobson branch-antlered buck method with game camera surveys, and a point-based distance sampling method. Currently, the 2017 plots are being harvested and analyzed. If accepted the results will be presented at the conference. Another field season will occur in 2018, doubling the number of farms (n=8 total) and respective plots from 2017. Project results are meant to inform localized deer management efforts, and identify when damage permits are applicable to corn and soybeans producers.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (3)