Wildlife Damage Control for Traditional and Organic Farmers

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2011: $96,053.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: Western
State: Montana
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Jim Knight
Extension Wildlife Specialist

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, sunflower, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, apples, berries (other), berries (blueberries), cherries, berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, greens (leafy), peas (culinary), cucurbits, sweet corn
  • Additional Plants: ornamentals, trees
  • Animals: poultry, rabbits, sheep


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: application rate management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, risk management
  • Natural Resources/Environment: wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control, economic threshold, eradication, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, physical control, traps
  • Production Systems: holistic management, transitioning to organic
  • Sustainable Communities: urban agriculture, urban/rural integration, employment opportunities


    This project addressed the increasing need for county and reservation extension educators and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel to provide education related to wildlife damage control on farms and ranches. In addition to requests from traditional farmers, there are increasing wildlife damage control needs from small acreage landowners and organic farmers. Organic farmers have limitations on how they can cope with pests, including wildlife pests. Like the organic farmers themselves, Extension and NRCS personnel lack information on controlling wildlife pests on organic farms. This project provided the training and materials needed to allow educators to address the vertebrate pest control needs of organic and traditional farmers. We conducted hands-on training workshops for Extension and NRCS personnel in Idaho and Montana, presented an online course in Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage for western state’s Extension and NRCS personnel, developed demonstration sites on private farms and the Flathead Reservation, developed a Wildlife Damage Control for Organic Farmers handbook and completed a webpage for wildlife damage control for traditional and organic farmers. Evaluations to measure short term and long term impacts have been conducted.

    Project objectives:

    As the result of this project and the training received by county and reservation extension educators, we estimate 3000 producers will be reached resulting in vertebrate pest control improvements on 300,000 acres.

    Objective 1 Determine vertebrate pest control methods that currently exist or which could be modified and developed for organic farmers.

    Objective 2 Identify suitability, economic costs, effectiveness and strategies to enhance usefulness of methods determined in Objective 1.

    Objective 3 Increase the vertebrate pest control knowledge and skills of extension educators so they have the capacity to address the educational needs of both traditional and organic farmers.

    Objective 4 Extension educators will educate farmers so they can implement legal, effective, efficient and environmentally safe vertebrate pest control practices which will increase profits of farmers through reduced crop losses due to vertebrate pests.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.