Do Deer Eat Corn Plants?

Written by: Gemmali Dizor

The answer is yes, deer do eat corn plants. In fact, deer are known to feed on various agricultural crops, including corn, which makes them a common problem for farmers and gardeners alike.

As herbivores, deer feed on a wide variety of vegetation, including leaves, stems, and even the ears of corn plants. This can cause significant damage to crops and lead to decreased yields.

However, the frequency and extent of deer feeding on corn plants can vary greatly depending on the availability of other food sources and the overall health of the deer population.

If you’re a farmer or gardener facing a deer problem, it’s important to understand why deer are attracted to your corn plants and what you can do to protect your crops.

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Why do deer eat corn plants?

Deer are opportunistic feeders and will consume a variety of plant species depending on what is available to them. In some cases, deer may be attracted to corn plants simply because they provide an abundant and easily accessible source of food.

However, there are a number of other factors that can also contribute to deer feeding on corn plants, including:

Lack of alternative food sources: If other food sources are scarce, deer will often turn to agricultural crops, including corn, as a source of nutrition.

Poor health of the deer population: In areas where the deer population is under stress, such as during periods of drought or disease, deer may be more likely to feed on corn plants.

The time of year: In the fall and winter months, when other food sources become scarce, deer may be more likely to feed on corn plants.

The location of the corn plants: If corn plants are located near a natural deer habitat, such as a forest or field, deer may be more likely to feed on them.

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How to protect your corn plants from deer

If you’re facing a deer problem and want to protect your corn plants, there are several measures you can take. These include:

Fencing: One of the most effective ways to keep deer away from your corn plants is to erect a fence around your crops. Fencing should be at least 8 feet high to effectively deter deer.

Repellents: There are a variety of deer repellents available, including sprays and granules, that can be applied to corn plants to deter deer. However, the effectiveness of these products can vary and they may need to be reapplied regularly.

Planting deterrent crops: Consider planting deterrent crops, such as alliums or daffodils, near your corn plants. These plants produce strong odors that deer find unappealing, which can help keep them away from your corn crops.

Hunting: In areas where hunting is allowed, regulated hunting can help reduce the deer population and reduce the likelihood of deer feeding on your corn plants.

Habitat modification: Modifying the natural deer habitat near your corn plants can also help reduce the likelihood of deer feeding on your crops. This can include removing overgrown vegetation, planting native vegetation, or creating wetlands to attract alternative prey for the deer.


In conclusion, deer do eat corn plants and can cause significant damage to crops if left unchecked. If you’re facing a deer problem, taking steps to protect your corn plants, such as erecting a fence, using repellents, or modifying the natural deer habitat, can help reduce the impact of deer on your crops.

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