Sav­ing an­i­mals from har­vest in­jury

Irish Examiner - Farming - - TECHNOLOGY FOCUS -

As well as weather dam­age, crop farm­ers on the Con­ti­nent have to con­tend with an­i­mals such as deer at har­vest time.

They are such a big fac­tor that Agritech­nica 2017 sil­ver medals were awarded to two in­no­va­tions to help farm­ers.

One is Sen­sosafe from the Pöt­tinger com­pany based in Aus­tria, which says that tech­niques and meth­ods de­vel­oped up to now in or­der to save game an­i­mals from har­vest in­jury have not proven very ef­fec­tive.

That is why they came up with Sen­sosafe, a sen­sor bar in­stalled to the header that de­tects any wildlife hid­den in the field, to pro­tect it from fa­tal in­juries.

On the con­ti­nent, the be­gin­ning of the har­vest sea­sons poses great risk to fawns, and game in gen­eral, be­cause the time of the first cut usu­ally marks the be­gin­ning of the breed­ing sea­son. The sen­sors are op­ti­cal in­frared sen­sors with LED lights that de­tect an­i­mals while the ma­chine is mov­ing.

As soon as an an­i­mal is de­tected, the hy­draulic sys­tem of the header is sig­nalled to raise the unit.

The wildlife is saved, and the crop is not con­tam­i­nated.

The in­frared sen­sors can de­tect fawns even in bright day­light and sun­light, while ig­nor­ing other ob­sta­cles like mole­hills.

It took seven years for Pöt­tinger to de­velop Sen­sosafe, which is wel­comed as a milestone in an­i­mal wel­fare.

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