Lasers pare proving successful in reducing crop loss from birds at a vineyard in Sonoma County, California. Since adopting the robotic laser, the vineyard has achieved a 99.8 % bird reduction and annually saved around 25,000 USD.
Jim Griffin, Owner of Griffin’s Lair, Sonoma County, California has a 21 acres vineyard that suffered from bird damage to crops like many other vineyard owners. He spent around 25,000 USD per year on netting and labour costs to keep thousands of birds at a distance. This was labour-intensive and didn’t solve the bird problems. The biggest disadvantage of bird netting is that it is not effective for areas where many birds are foraging or perching. The birds still can get under the net and damage the grapes. The net also makes it difficult to work on the grapes for annual pruning, fertilizing or removing damaged grapes.
Jim heard about the newest laser technology and was intrigued to discover the Agrilaser Autonomic. The automated laser is used at many vineyards around the world including Devonian Coast Wineries in Canada, Bodega Catena Zapata in Argentina and Summerhill Road Vineyard in Australia. After having contacted Bird Control Group, Jim had 4 solar powered lasers installed on poles to cover the entire vineyard. As a result, Griffin’s Lair saves around 25,000 USD every year and has a 99.8 % reduction in birds. “We tried many different bird deterrent measures but most are difficult to use, and lasers make it easier and very effective.” says vineyard owner Jim Griffin.
The laser bird deterrent technology takes advantage of a bird’s natural instincts. Birds perceive an approaching laser beam as a predator and take flight to seek safety when the laser beam passes by. There are more than 6,000 users of the bird deterrent lasers worldwide, but this is the first time the technology is being used on California wine grapes.
Steinar Henskes, CEO of Bird Control Group is excited about helping grape growers to solve their bird problems:
“I am proud of the savings Bird Control Group realized at the Griffin’s Lair vineyard. California is one of the largest grape growing regions in the world and with our help the grape industry in California can straighten their top position.”