June 24, 2021

Blueberry growers support U.S. economy

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Highbush blueberry growers generate more than $4.7 billion in annual economic impact, resulting in more than $12.7 million flowing into the U.S. consistently every year. The U.S. consists of an estimated 12,739 blueberry farms; behind these farms are growers that create a powerful finance force for the U.S. economy, tend to an extraordinary superfruit, and create thousands of jobs1.

A recent study revealed that U.S. highbush blueberry growers create and maintain more than 44,535 full-time jobs each year. This enables them to provide nearly $1.8 billion in labor income generated by the business activities of blueberry growers. Thus, it is clear that blueberry growers play a significant role in strengthening the U.S. economy2.

Many blueberry growers report bird damage in the USA

Bird damage threatens the blueberry industry

As the blueberry industry grows and remains an essential commodity for the U.S. economy, it has become necessary to eliminate any challenges that will slow down the production process. These challenges can range from diseases, weeds, pesticides to wildlife damage, specifically bird damage. Bird species alone cause massive crop losses ranging from 6-20% of the total crop. In addition, many blueberry growers report bird damage in the United States as serious to moderately severe. This has a significant impact on blueberry production and, as a consequence, the industry’s impact on the U.S. economy.

Three of the bird species responsible for the most blueberry crop damage are starlings, robins, and crows. There are multiple bird control products and methods that blueberry growers use to reduce bird damage, including visual repellents, auditory repellents, and netting. The most common method deployed and one of the most effective is netting. However, this can be a high-cost strategy for permanent netting ranging from $1000-$3000 per acre3.

Growers around the U.S. are always searching for the most cost-effective solution without affecting the growing process. An innovative, cost-effective solution that has surprised blueberry growers around the USA is the AVIX Autonomic Mark II. This laser bird repellent has been implemented in a variety of farms around the world.

Many blueberry growers report bird damage in the USA

Laser bird deterrent and its benefits

AVIX Autonomic Mark II projects a green laser beam across the block of crops at risk of bird damage. As the laser sweeps across the area, the birds perceive the laser beam as a solid object and are deterred by their natural danger instinct. As a result, the birds do not return to the same block of crops in fear of the projected green laser beam. The laser bird deterrents are bird control products that work around the clock, 24/7, and can be programmed to work in different patterns according to the application’s requirements.

For example, Meduri Farms in Jefferson, Oregon, incurred crop damage from Starlings, Blackbirds, Robins, and Swallows. They lost around 25% of their crops due to bird damage, almost $100,000 in revenue a year. This blueberry farm deployed nine laser bird control products that covered 170 acres. With these systems in place, they increased their revenue by 33% and only incurred a crop loss of 0,067%. Compared to the 25% without the deployment of the laser bird control system. Meduri Farms emphasize, “We had to work so hard to keep the birds away. We had a lot of birds on the farm; now, with the Autonomics, we don’t even have to worry about it – we have no issue anymore.”

  1.  California AG Network, https://californiaagnet.com/2020/08/04/new-study-reveals-blueberry-growers-strengthen-u-s-economy-by-the-billions/.
  2.  California AG Network, https://californiaagnet.com/2020/08/04/new-study-reveals-blueberry-growers-strengthen-u-s-economy-by-the-billions/.
  3.  Journal of the NACAA, https://www.nacaa.com/journal/index.php?jid=884
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