Inflatable Dancers Protect Fruit Crops from Pesky Birds

inflatableSome farmers across the country are using inflatable “dancing” tube men, which are normally used to lure potential buyers to car lots, for a new purpose – scaring away birds that threaten their crops. The dancers have been used at several vineyards and farms in New York, Michigan, Washington, and other states.

The $200 million bird problem is especially troubling to growers of grapes and blueberries. The chief culprits that damage the most crops are American robins and European starlings.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a $2 million, three-year, multi-state study of bird-related damage to crops, a problem that has not been examined in-depth until now. The study has pilot-tested several bird-deterring strategies, including the inflatable dancers, recorded distress calls and predator noises, and kites decorated with pictures of raptors attached to poles placed in fields. Cornell University, which is participating in the study, was awarded $517,000 and is studying the effectiveness of the air dancers.

The inflatable air dancers seem to be working, but researchers want to conduct further testing to determine the extent of their effectiveness. They believe the dancers’ random movement is what makes them a better deterrent than traditional scarecrows, which stand still in one place. Birds can get used to the scarecrows after realizing that they are not a threat.

The inflatable dancers need power to move, which requires generators or another source of electricity. Companies in several states sell the inflatable men, which tower over 15 feet tall, to farmers to scare away birds that threaten their crops. The dancers come in multiple colors and with reflective tape, move randomly, and have noisy fans. That combination of factors seems to make the inflatable dancers a useful way for farmers to deal with their persistent bird problems.


Inflatable Conveyor Belt could Change Agriculture Forever

Inflatable Conveyor Belt

Agriculture is a big part of the world. We have always been looking for ways to grow and harvest crops faster to feed more people at a cheaper price. Breakthroughs in technology have gone from cattle drawn plows to tractors, and now to using inflatable conveyor belts. A company based out of the United Kingdom has created an inflatable conveyor belt that could change the way we farm forever.

The company, Aeropick, has created an ingenious wheeled and inflatable conveyor system to help aid the agricultural and horticultural harvesting process. The custom inflatable conveyor belt can stretch to distances up to 100 meters and can be deployed in under five minutes. Not only will Inflatable Conveyor Beltthis increase productivity by decreasing set-up and take down time, it will decrease labor costs significantly.

The inflatable conveyor system is driven to an open field or covered growing area on a Brumby VariTrak base vehicle. The VariTrak can vary its wheel spacing from 1 to 1.5 meters to suit crop spacing. It also has an additional 10KVA of power to allow for processing, cooling, washing, and sorting right on site in the field. The length of the belt can be set up from anywhere between 25 and 100 meters, making it highly adaptable. This allows crops to be processed at a high speed and sent to cool storage, washing, sorting, and grading faster. This will cut down on waste and increase the amount of crops that can be harvested every day.

The inflatable conveyor system can drastically change the way people farm forever. Its mobility and adaptability make it a valuable tool. Its ability to speed up harvesting will allow for more crops to be processed in a shorter period of time. This will decrease labor costs and in turn decrease the price of the crops too.

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