US farmers laced corn with pesticide to kill protected birds


Two men have been found guilty of lacing corn with a highly toxic pesticide in order to kill migratory birds in the US.

Robert Yost, 52, and his employee Jacob Reese, 27, of Enon Valley, Pennsylvania, were found guilty of three counts related to the unlawful killing of migratory birds.

The incident occurred in 2020, when Yost instructed Reese to spread whole kernel corn coated in the pesticide carbofuran around a field he leased for soybean production. Carbofuran is highly toxic to birds and was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009.

Among the victims were 10 Red-winged Blackbirds (Steve Bell).


Protected birds killed

Among the victims were 10 Red-winged Blackbirds, 17 Canada Goose and a Mallard – birds that are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Yost and Reese also took steps to conceal their actions by destroying the feedbag that held the laced corn, court documents showed. The laced corn was spread around areas where children and domesticated animals were often present, posing a risk to those populations as well.

Sentencing hearings for Yost and Reese are scheduled for 29 May. They each face up to 13 months in prison and a $31,000 fine.