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Thousands of dollars saved

Dutch laser technology used successfully against troublesome birds

A blueberry grower in the United States has, for the first time, successfully used an automated laser-controlled scarecrow against troublesome birds. The technology was developed by Bird Control Group, which was founded by former TU Delft students.

Until recently, birds caused considerable damage at Meduri Farms, in Oregon. Since the laser technology has been implemented, the American company has saved almost $100,000 annually, says Operations Manager, Justin Meduri. "We used to use falcons to prevent damage from other birds. That cost us about $1,000 dollar a day, seven days a week, and that over a three month period. The total yearly cost due to damage caused by the birds is usually about 25% of the total potential harvest at Meduri Farms."

Laser solution to troublesome birds
In the search for an alternate, and especially effective scarecrow, Meduri found Bird Control Group's Agrilaser Autonomic. After a demonstration and a trial period, the grower decided to lease the laser technology during the season. "From that moment, it has been a complete success", says Meduri. Before they discovered the laser solution, the company was losing about 25% of its crop to damage done by birds. This was a loss of about $100,000. The damage done by the birds has, thanks to the lasers, dropped to just 0,067%, or EUR 267.

Animal friendly
Bird Control Group's laser technology plays on birds' natural instincts. "They perceive a laser beam to be a predator. The birds fly away, seeking protection", says Steiner Henskes, Bird Control Group's founder. "This makes our methods extraordinarily animal friendly." Meduri Farms has placed six Agrilaser Autonomics at the edges of its farm. This keeps the destructive birds a safe distance away from the blueberries. "We used to put an incredible amount of effort into keeping the birds away from the crop. Last year we had the most damage to date. Now, we do not need to worry about it anymore. We have no more problems, says Meduri.

The Netherlands
The damage American fruit growers suffer from birds is enormous. According to research, done by various American universities, the damage runs into tens of millions of dollars per year. Blueberry growers also fall victim to this. In the state of Oregon, the damage per hectare is about $4,500. This amounts to a total of more than $11 million. The loss, due to the avian nuisance, is estimated to be 18% during harvesting season. "We have completed successful projects in Australia and Europe with blueberry growers. The success we are seeing in the present season is a huge boost for our rapid growth in the American market", says Henskes. Bird Control Group's laser technology is used globally by about 6,000 companies.

About Bird Control Group
The demand for food is increasing exponentially around the world. An effective, and durable, method to scatter birds is, therefore, crucial. Bird Control Group offers products which keep birds at a distance from commercial activities. In this way, the business prevents damage to crops, done by birds, in a very effective, environmentally-friendly way. Bird Control Group helps customers in the aviation, agricultural, industrial, oil and gas, and real estate sectors. Existing customers include Schiphol Airport, Shell and Total. Bird Control Group is active in more than 75 countries worldwide.

About Meduri Farms
Meduri Farms was started in 1980. They want to become the world's most important dried fruit producer. Meduri Farms plans to achieve this by using innovative processes and good relations with customers, co-workers, and suppliers.

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