Great Basin Naturalist


We conducted a survey of Utah alfalfa (Medicago sativa) growers in 1993 to identify wildlife damage problems to bay crops. Such surveys can provide wildlife managers with important insights regarding landowners' wildlife damage management concerns and needs. Pocket gophers (Thomomys spp.) and mule deer (Odecoileus hemionus) were perceived by growers as causing the most damage. Respondents reported a total annual loss of $350,000 or $24.79/ha (2.8% of the total crop value) because of wildlife damage in alfalfa crops. Decreased hay quantity was the most frequently cited problem caused by wildlife. Compensation and incentive programs were preferred over assistance and information programs for managing wildlife damage in alfalfa crops.