The United States is an agricultural power, with rich agricultural resources and diverse agricultural types. According to the 2017 agricultural census, the United States has 2.04 million farms, covering an area of 3.64 million square kilometers (900.22 million acres), with an average of 169 hectares (441 acres) per farm, and about 3.4 million farmers and other agricultural workers. The U.S. farms are mainly divided into eight categories: grain crops, cotton, tobacco, high-value crops, beef cattle, pigs, dairy cows, and poultry eggs. In 2019, the total agricultural output value of the United States reached 3.6 trillion U.S. dollars, accounting for 1.8% of the gross domestic product.

However, the U.S. farms also face some serious challenges, one of which is the damage caused by wild rabbits and other pests to the farms. Wild rabbits and other pests eat or damage crops and livestock, destroy soil and irrigation systems, spread diseases and parasites, and cause huge economic losses and mental stress to farmers. It is estimated that wild rabbits alone cause losses of up to 1 billion U.S. dollars to U.S. farms every year.

This article aims to analyze the degree of damage caused by wild rabbits and other pests to U.S. farms, explore effective prevention and control measures, and improve agricultural production efficiency and quality. This article will be divided into three parts: the first part introduces the damage caused by wild rabbits to U.S. farms; the second part introduces what other animals can harm U.S. farms besides wild rabbits; the third part introduces how to solve these problems and how to prevent them. This article hopes to provide some useful information and suggestions for U.S. farmers, and promote the sustainable development of U.S. agriculture.

The damage caused by wild rabbits to U.S. farms

Wild rabbits are a widely distributed mammal in the United States, mainly of two types: European wild rabbits and North American wild rabbits. European wild rabbits are introduced from Europe as an exotic species, mainly distributed in the western and central regions, such as California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and other states. North American wild rabbits are native species, mainly distributed in the eastern and southern regions, such as Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and other states. It is estimated that the total number of wild rabbits in the United States is about 250 million.

The main harms of wild rabbits to American farms are as follows:

  • Wild rabbits eat crops, such as corn, soybeans, wheat, vegetables, etc., causing agricultural losses. According to statistics, in 2019, only in California, wild rabbits caused losses of up to 150 million US dollars to crops. Some farmers said that they had to clean up the crops eaten by wild rabbits every day and replant them.
  • Wild rabbits dig holes, destroy the soil structure of farmland, and affect crop growth. The holes of wild rabbits usually have a diameter of 10 to 15 centimeters and a depth of up to 1.5 meters. These holes cause soil loosening and erosion, reduce soil fertility and water retention capacity. At the same time, these holes also pose hidden dangers to agricultural machinery and livestock, such as getting stuck wheels or spraining ankles.
  • Wild rabbits spread some diseases, such as plague, rabies, toxoplasmosis, etc., endangering the health of humans and animals. Wild rabbits are carriers or intermediate hosts of some pathogens, and they can transmit pathogens to other animals or humans through bites, feces, urine, blood, etc. For example, in 2018, a wild rabbit infected with plague was found in Colorado; in 2019, a wild rabbit infected with rabies was found in New Mexico; in 2020, a wild rabbit infected with toxoplasmosis was found in California.

Wild rabbits have caused serious harm and loss to American farms and need to arouse the high attention and vigilance of farmers and relevant departments.

 

Other pests that harm American farms

In addition to wild rabbits, there are some other common pests on American farms, such as groundhogs, deer, foxes, wolves, etc. These animals also cause different degrees of harm and loss to American farms, as follows:

  • Groundhogs: Groundhogs are a widely distributed rodent in the United States, mainly living in grasslands, farmlands and urban edges. Groundhogs dig holes underground, damage roots and irrigation systems, and eat crops and livestock feed. It is estimated that groundhogs cause about $1 billion in losses to American farms every year. Some farmers say they have to spend a lot of time and money to clean up the holes and corpses of groundhogs.
  • Deer: Deer are a widely distributed ungulate in the United States, mainly living in forests, grasslands and near farmlands. Deer jumps over fences, nibble on fruit trees and grape vines, and knock down corn stalks and wheat stems. It is estimated that deer cause about $2.5 billion in losses to American farms every year. Some farmers say they have to use electric nets, sprays or hunting to prevent deer from invading.
  • Foxes: Foxes are a widely distributed carnivore in the United States, mainly living in forests, grasslands and urban edges. Foxes prey on poultry and small livestock, such as chickens, ducks, rabbits, etc., and also spread rabies and other diseases. It is estimated that foxes cause about $50 million in losses to American farms every year. Some farmers say they have to use cages, traps or poison to eliminate or drive away foxes.
  • Wolves: Wolves are a carnivore distributed in some parts of the United States, mainly living in forests, grasslands and mountainous areas. Wolves attack cattle, sheep, horses and other large livestock, causing serious economic losses. It is estimated that wolves cause about $100 million in losses to American farms every year. Some farmers say they have to use electric nets, alarms or firearms to protect or retaliate against wolves.

In addition to wild rabbits, there are some other pests that cause serious harm and loss to American farms, and effective measures need to be taken to prevent and reduce them.

How to solve these problems and how to prevent them

To deal with the damage caused by wild rabbits and other pests to American farms, comprehensive prevention and control measures need to be taken, taking into account both the interests of the farmers and the survival rights and ecological balance of the animals. Here are some possible solutions:

  • Setting up fences: Fences are the most common and effective way to prevent pests from invading. Different pests require different types of fences, such as height, material, voltage, etc. For example, for deer, you can use electric or wire mesh with a height of at least 2.4 meters; for wolves, you can use electric or wire mesh with a height of at least 1.8 meters and add inclined poles at the top; for gophers, you can use metal mesh with a depth of at least 0.6 meters and add curved baffles at the bottom.
  • Using traps: Traps are a way to catch pests without killing them. Traps can be selected according to the size, habits and preferences of the pests, such as cages, clamps, ropes, etc. Traps need to be checked and cleaned regularly, and the captured pests need to be released or handed over to the relevant departments away from the farm. For example, for foxes, you can use cages or clamps with egg or meat bait; for wild rabbits, you can use cages or ropes with carrot or apple bait.
  • Applying repellents: Repellents are a way to repel pests by using their sense of smell, taste or vision. Repellents can be chemical products or natural substances, such as soap, chili, urine, hair, etc. Repellents need to be reapplied regularly and adjusted according to the season and weather changes. For example, for deer, you can use spray or powder containing garlic or rotten meat flavor; for wolves, you can use spray or powder containing chili or dog urine.
  • Adjusting crop planting time and method: Adjusting crop planting time and method is a way to reduce pest damage by using the growth cycle and characteristics of crops. Adjusting crop planting time and method can make crops mature before or after the active period of pests, or make crops less attractive or edible to pests. For example, for gophers, you can plant crops in early spring or late autumn to avoid their breeding period; for foxes, you can plant some thorny or poisonous plants around the crops, such as roses or hemlock.

All these solutions have some effects, but they also have some limitations and drawbacks. For example, setting up fences requires a lot of money and manpower, and some pests may cross or dig through the fences; using traps requires a lot of time and energy, and some pests may escape or get injured; applying repellents requires a lot of materials and technology, and some pests may adapt or ignore them; adjusting crop planting time and method requires a lot of knowledge and experience, and some crops may be affected by climate or market.

Therefore, for nocturnal animals that are harmful to farms, farmers can observe them through night vision binoculars or infrared binoculars and use hunting rifles to solve them. This method can effectively eliminate or deter pests and protect the safety and interests of farms. For example, in 2020, in Florida, some farmers used night vision binoculars and hunting rifles to successfully kill a pack of wolves, reducing the loss of livestock.

Conclusion

This paper analyzes the degree of damage caused by wild rabbits and other pests to American farms, explores effective prevention and control measures, and improves agricultural production efficiency and quality. Wild rabbits and other pests eat or damage crops and livestock, destroy soil and irrigation systems, spread diseases and parasites, causing huge economic losses and mental stress to farmers. Farmers can take comprehensive prevention and control measures such as setting up fences, using traps, applying repellents, adjusting crop planting time and methods, taking into account both the interests of farmers and the survival rights and ecological balance of animals. For animals that are harmful to the farm at night, farmers can observe them through night vision binoculars or infrared binoculars, and use hunting guns to solve them. I hope to provide some useful information and suggestions for American farmers, and promote the sustainable development of American agriculture. This paper also hopes to arouse social attention and support, protect American agricultural resources and animal resources, and achieve harmony between man and nature.

 

FAQ

Q: Why use night vision binoculars to protect the farm?

A: There are several reasons to use night vision binoculars to protect the farm:

Most of the animals that harm the farm are nocturnal, such as rabbits, foxes, wolves, etc. Using night vision binoculars can observe and track them in the dark. Using night vision binoculars can effectively eliminate or deter these animals, protect the farm’s safety and interests. Using night vision binoculars can save time and money, compared to other prevention measures, such as fences, traps, repellents, etc., using night vision binoculars is more convenient and economical.

Q: How do night vision binoculars work?

A: Night vision binoculars are instruments that can see objects in the dark. They mainly have two types: enhanced night vision binoculars: this type of night vision binoculars uses a micro-light enhancer to amplify the weak ambient light (such as moonlight, starlight, etc.) by thousands of times, making objects visible. Enhanced night vision binoculars usually have different generations, representing their performance and complexity. The most advanced is the fourth generation (GEN 4). Thermal imaging night vision binoculars: this type of night vision binoculars use infrared sensors to detect the thermal radiation emitted by objects and convert it into visible images. Thermal imaging night vision binoculars can work in complete darkness or haze conditions, but the image quality is low.

Q: How to choose the right night vision binoculars?

A: Choosing the right night vision binoculars requires considering the following factors:

  1. Target distance: different types and generations of night vision binoculars have different observation distances, generally speaking, the longer the observation distance, the higher the price. You need to choose the appropriate observation distance according to your actual needs.
  2. Image quality: different types and generations of night vision binoculars have different image quality, generally speaking, the higher the image quality, the higher the price. You need to choose the appropriate image quality according to your requirements for image clarity and color.
  3. Function and accessories: different types and generations of night vision binoculars have different functions and accessories, such as magnification, infrared illuminator, battery life, waterproof and dustproof, etc. You need to choose the appropriate function and accessories according to your usage scenario and preference.
  4. Budget and brand: different types and generations of night vision binoculars have different prices and brands, generally speaking, the higher the price, the more famous the brand, the more reliable the quality. You need to choose the appropriate price and brand according to your budget and trust.

Q: How to use night vision binoculars to protect the farm?

A: Using night vision binoculars to protect the farm requires following these steps:

  1. Patrol your farm at night, using night vision binoculars to observe if there are any suspicious animal activities.
  2. If you find any animals that harm the farm, use a hunting rifle or other weapons to shoot or drive them away.
  3. If you successfully eliminate or deter the animals, clean up the scene and dispose of the bodies or residues.
  4. If you do not find any animals that harm the farm, continue patrolling or return to your residence.

Q: What are the precautions for using night vision binoculars?

A: There are several precautions for using night vision binoculars:

  1. Comply with local laws and regulations, do not kill innocent people or destroy ecological balance.
  2. Pay attention to safety, do not cause harm or accidental injury to humans or livestock.
  3. Properly store your night vision binoculars, do not let them be damaged by moisture, dust, impact, etc.
  4. Regularly clean and maintain your night vision binoculars, keep their good performance.

 

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