Blackbirds Causing Problems for Southeast Missouri Corn Farmers

MAY 6, 2004 - Posted at 11:19 a.m. CDT

SIKESTON, MO - Farmers in parts of southeast Missouri are busy replanting corn, thanks to some pesky blackbirds.

David Reinbott of the University of Missouri Extension office says there appear to be more birds than usual this year and that's wreaking havoc on cornfields in the region.  Some farmers have had to replant two and even three times.

One explanation for the increase in damage this year could be the slower germination due to the warm weather in March and a cooler April.  The birds see recently planted corn as an easy food supply.

While birds are usually hardest on corn planted early, some farmers think its worth the risk, as corn planted early in April typically yields better than corn planted later.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)