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David Sparks Ph.d Technology Old and new
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: July 09, 2019

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Cherry farmer Lance Phillips owner of Crimson Gem Orchard in Emmett Idaho uses air dancers in his cherry orchards to ward off starlings. He says this is a new way to solve an old problem.


“I was talking to a gentleman. He remembers, as a kid, he was in his late 80s, he actually ran behind horses and he says the horses would always come to the end of the row and then they would stop or they would turn around and they knew exactly what to do. He says the more technology changes the more it stays the same and so it reminded me of the good old days when we had the scarecrows stuffed full of straw. And here were these new Silk Air dancers that I put in the orchard and sure enough the starlings, when they see them, they go somewhere else. They are deterred off saving me a tremendous amount of damage caused by birds in my little orchard about 400 trees.


I can't tell you how many pictures I have seen of the old time scarecrows sitting out in a field with starlings sitting on top. They weren't exactly a deterrent.


Exactly. There's too much of that going on. The good thing is that they do get used to it a little bit. So I move them around. I try to move them 10 feet 20 feet. We have just a few power cords on there and we only run them for a week or so but we've added a couple new this year so even though last year we had a little red and Big Blue. This year we have a yellow one and a purple one out there. Not only do they not sit still and no birds are gonna sit on them but it does tend to at least give us some control of it. So I would say the technology really does work and we found it quite effective.

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