Even if the habitat quality and the number of predators are balanced, there can still be reasons turkey populations are declining: seeds coated in neonic inscecticides. Dr. Grant Woods explains why neonicotinoids are a major concern for our environment and wildlife populations. Many of us have hunted where corn, soybeans and other seeds have been treated with the very
common class of insecticide called Neonicotinoids or more commonly Neonics. You may know
Neonics by their more common trade name, several of which are:
Acetamiprid = Assail, and Chipco
Clothianidin Poncho, Prosper, and Votivo.
Imidacloprid Kohinor, Admire, Advantage, Gaucho, Merit, Confidor, Hachikusan,
Premise, Prothor, and Winner.
Neonics are derived from nicotine. They act by binding strongly to receptors in insect
central nervous system of insects, causing overstimulation of their nerve cells, paralysis
and death. Current estimates are that more than 90% of all corn and 45% of all beans seeds , not to mention
other crop seeds are treated with Neonics.
Many scientists are researching Neonics as the cause of decline in bees and birds. The USDA
and other agencies are digging deeper into this research.
This is extremely scary knowing that a high percentage of food plots are planted by the broadcast
system, which makes this grain readily available to turkey and other critters.
I am very concerned about wild turkey populations and the health of our environment for all
critters, most importantly humans.
Fortunately there are some easy solutions! Production ag farmers that apply soil health
principles rarely, if every need to use insecticides, fungicides, etc. Food plot and native habitat
managers can also apply these principles with some slight modifications to fit their mission.