Lasers Help Australian Horticulture Industry During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Australia’s demand for domestic fruits and vegetables increases due to the coronavirus pandemic
The Australian horticulture industry is facing a higher demand for domestic fruits and vegetables. The reason behind this unusual increase is the buyer’s behavior to get a large intake of vitamins and antioxidants that can help in staying healthy during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Fruit and vegetables are known to be rich sources of vitamins, as well as several natural compounds with antioxidant1 and anti-inflammatory2 properties. Vitamin A and C, for example, play a crucial role in the metabolism of the body and immune response. Thus the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults consume at least two servings of vegetables and fruits a day. For children, depending on age, it can increase up to 5 servings per day3.
The high demand for fruits and vegetables forces growers to increase production volumes in order to meet the demand. This means that most growers have to provide a more significant amount of fruits and vegetables than they anticipated and need a creative approach to boost production.
A battle between birds and growers
Birds are one of the biggest threats to the Australian horticulture sector, causing severe crop losses each year. In Australia, bird damage to horticulture is estimated at nearly $300 million annually.
Protecting crops from birds is extremely important to meet the growing demand for fruits and vegetables. Right before the harvest, birds fly down and peck on the vulnerable plants and then begin to roost in the area. Birds cause considerable economic damage to an array of crops. Although this is most common during the ripening period, it can also happen during sowing and seedling stages.
A mistake that growers tend to make is waiting until the damage is evident before implementing any bird control method. Once birds become familiar with the crop and understand that it is a food source, it is more difficult to repel them.
Taking preventive measures against birds before the harvest season can be a creative approach that Australian horticulture producers should consider taking in order to meet the consumer’s demand.
Lasers reduce bird nuisance by more than 70%
The AVIX Autonomic laser bird deterrent reduces bird presence at agricultural sites by more than 70%, helping growers keep up with the demand for fruits and vegetables.
This innovative technology provides a 24/7 protection against birds by projecting a green laser light across the areas where birds are present. Birds perceive the approaching laser beam as a threat and immediately disperse. The system has 16 different projection patterns that can be set up to repel birds from different angles at random moments. In this way, birds do not get used to the laser as they do with traditional deterrents.
The AVIX Connect software allows growers to adjust the laser brightness, projection speed and time slots, to ensure that the system is adapted correctly to its specific surroundings. The device can be configured and monitored wirelessly through a user-friendly app – the AVIX Connect App.
This animal-friendly bird repellent enables Australian growers to comply with bird control restrictions that prohibit them from harming native species. It’s enhanced safety features make sure that the system always runs safely, without harming humans or the environment.
One of the many Australian growers that benefit from this solution is John Benson, owner of a small blueberry farm in Cherokee. John started using the Autonomic to stand up against the beautiful, but voracious, Rosella parrots. The situation before the laser was quite horrifying: without expensive netting the birds would damage most of the crop. By installing the laser system 6 weeks before the harvest, John Benson saves more than 65% of his blueberries from birds.
The Autonomic is a must-have tool also for New Zealand Gourmet. Here the system saves up to 7.5 tonnes of fruit each year by preventing damages of circa 20.000 Australian dollars caused by sparrows all year round.
Are these issues familiar to you? Request a quote right now and start securing your production with an AVIX Autonomic!