As I mentioned last week, ducks have been doing quite a bit of damage in water seeded rice in south Louisiana. Some farmers who have a lifetime of experience in lower Vermilion parish have told me they have never seen Teal down here this late and in these numbers. In our verification field pictured below it was a mixture of Teal and Black Bellied Whistling Ducks. After publishing last week’s Field Notes I was contacted by personnel at the USDA/APHIS Animal Damage Control office in Crowley. They wanted to know about the Black Bellied Whistlers because they too have noted a huge increase in their numbers this year.
The left most photograph shows an overall view of the field. The areas that appear to be clear water are slightly deeper (very slightly) areas that the ducks found more attractive. There is some rice remaining as can be seen in the second photograph which can be compared the third photograph of the green areas. The grower applied Avipel treated seed after last week’s visit and that seemed to run the ducks out. Others have told me it did not deter Teal. Reports are fairly constant that the product definitely works on blackbirds.
It was too late to start over. We will just have to live with the situation and hope some of the seed treated with Avipel add a little to the stand