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Innovative device protects crops


A pioneering technology is being used to tackle the billion dollar problem affecting the Australian agriculture industry.

Used to scare off elephants from destroying crops in Africa, the Vertebrate Pest Detect-and-Deter (VPDaD) tech is now being tested in Australia – to ward off wild dogs, cockatoos, ducks and other pests that are causing massive damage to valuable crops.

Developed by the country’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the innovative VPDaD device works by emitting sounds that keep the pests at bay.

“One of the interesting issues with existing deterrent technologies is that, not only do animals become de-sensitised to them, but smarter ones can even learn to use the deterrents as an indication of a food source, which is the opposite of their purpose,” CSIRO scientist Dr Ash Tews said.

“Our autonomous technology allows the system to recognise animal behaviours in response to deterrents and modify the deterrent strategy until the desired effect is achieved.

“This allows the system to be more effective over long periods of time such as the key threat times during crop growing.”

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