Raccoons Are A Focus This Year For Iowa Farmers
A new year means a new legislative session. The 90th General Assembly convened for the 2023 session Last Monday, January 9th.
Going into this session, Iowa Farm Bureau is prioritizing protecting landowners and property taxpayers, addressing Iowa’s veterinary care workforce shortage, and wildlife management.
What kind of wildlife management would farmers place priority on? Raccoon management.
In December, the discussion started to spur about plans to allow more raccoon hunting outside the relatively short hunting season. Currently, Iowa law allows for raccoons to be killed only when the landowner deems them a nuisance.
And a nuance they have been for farmers across the state. Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Brent Johnson explains that the growing population of raccoons has become a problem over the last few years, especially in corn fields.
They take one bite out of an ear and then they move on to the next stock and the next stock and over and over a night you can see the significant area being damaged by raccoons.
The increase in these pest populations comes alongside fewer fur trapping licenses being administered and pelt prices decreasing. The number of raccoons being trapped went from over 300,000 in 2011 to 34,000 in 2021.
So, we're wanting to work with the DNR and, and find some ways to control that passed a little more appropriately than what's been happening in the past years.
This isn’t the only time farmers have looked towards legislation to protect corn from pests.
The new January antlerless deer season in some Iowa counties allows hunters to use different guns, such as an AR-15. Iowa Farm Bureau supported the bill due to the damage deer can cause to the corn crop.