Saving animals from harvest injury
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.