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Research Investigates Role for Birds in IPM

University of Kentucky doctoral student Karina Garcia is studying the many ways birds positively and negatively affect crops and whether farmers could incorporate some bird species into their integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. She published a review of research on birds in agriculture, highlighting examples of agricultural benefits from birds, as well as discussing technologies that could help birds be integrated successfully into IPM programs. Garcia notes that much more research is needed to determine the impacts that different bird species have upon crops. One example would be DNA-based analysis of bird fecal samples to determine a bird’s diet. Garcia concludes that the bird species, crop, and region would all play a role in utilizing birds in IPM.