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      Crop damage caused by wildlife

      At Johnson Farms in Daggett, wildlife are eating up some of the crops, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

      Johnson Farms supply milk to such chains as Culvers and Dairy Queen. The family-owned farm grows corn and alfalfa to feed its 1,500 dairy cows. But at any time throughout the day, farm workers sight deer and bears eating the crops.

      "The corn is easier to measure because we weigh every load that comes into the farm. Being conservative, I'd say we experience a 15 percent loss. And that's being very conservative, on 2,200 acres," says Dennis Johnson, partner/owner of the farm. Johnson says that amount translates into more than $150,000 worth of damage to the corn alone. With the alfalfa damage considered, that amount increases to a total loss of approximately $200,000.

      The animals are mostly interested in the corn, but the alfalfa crops are also being eaten. Johnson says the deer walk onto his property and bite off half a stalk of corn at a time. He adds that bears are also sighted often. He says the total loss will be measurable once harvesting season begins in October.