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Wildland Resources Faculty Publications

Crop damage; elk; mule deer; safflower; San Juan County; Utah

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Ungulate Damage To Safflower In Utah, Michael J. Haney, Michael R. Conover Feb 2013

Ungulate Damage To Safflower In Utah, Michael J. Haney, Michael R. Conover

Wildland Resources Faculty Publications

In Utah, farmers are concerned that ungulates are damaging safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) fields. We examined elk (Cervus elaphus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) damage to safflower production in San Juan County, Utah during 2009 and 2010. We collected data on damaged safflower plants within 28 fields, totaling 1,581 ha (13 fields totaling 963 ha during 2009; 15 fields totaling 618 ha during 2010). We compared 3 methods to assess yield losses: ungulate-proof exclosures, adjacent plant compensation method, and counting the number of damaged plants in 50-m transects (safflower count method). Exclosures were of limited use because they could not ...