Iowa Public Television


Study Finds Deer, Raccoons are Biggest Crop Raiders

posted on November 12, 2004

Purdue University researchers who set up cameras in farm fields to catch animals in the act of gobbling up crops found that deer and raccoons  not wild turkeys, as many farmers believe  are the greediest crop-raiders.

After two years of field work, the Purdue team vindicated turkeys by showing that deer and raccoons caused 95 percent of the damage in the fields surveyed. Squirrels, groundhogs and other species, but not turkeys, inflicted the remaining damage.

The researchers staked out fields, using infrared cameras during their nighttime surveillance to catch the culprits. The cameras revealed deer and raccoons gorging in the darkness, their mouths stuffed with leaves, soybeans, and corn.

Tags: agriculture animals crops deer news turkeys