HEALTH

  5-Ways to Protect Crops from Wild Animals

Agriculture has been a vital component of human survival for thousands of years, providing millions with food and means of survival. However, wild animals pose a severe danger to crops and cattle. They cause billions of dollars in annual damage, prompting farmers to seek innovative solutions to protect their farms from wild animals.

Below are top strategies that help farmers protect their crops and livestock from wild animals.

Identify The Culprit

Selecting the appropriate management method, such as the height of any necessary fence, means figuring out who’s eating what. Look for warning signs:

  • Deer may leave trails in the ground and produce neat cuts on herbaceous plants or tear woody plants
  • Rabbits can leave pellet droppings and cut sharply on woody and herbaceous plants.
  • Squirrels will dig up flower bulbs and crack shells or husks of nuts
  • Birds peck holes in fruit or take it before you even realize it’s ripe

Use Motion-Activated Lighting

Motion-activated lighting is an easy and efficient method to deter wild animals from entering a protected area. Setting the activation range and duration while connecting it with alarm systems allows farmers to save energy.   It also protects their crops and livestock from intruders. Nocturnal species will be frightened by the sudden and shocking lights.

Use Agricultural Fences

Fencing is a common long -lasting wild animal deterrent. Agricultural fences are relatively an operative wild animal protection technology. However, frequent regulations are surrounding the use of fences. Some local and government organizations may limit or prevent using certain fences. Therefore, before choosing a suitable fence, it’s vital to review local laws and regulations.

The quality of fencing depends on the design and composition. Depending on its construction and material, some permanent fences can last up to 30 years. Farmers typically use one of the following types of fences:

Wire fences; 

Wire fences consist of metal wires woven together, creating a physical barrier. The fences are working well, are long-lasting, and need relatively little upkeep. However, they are costly and are advised only to protect valuable crops.

Plastic fences; 

Polypropylene fences are usually less expensive and simpler to install and maintain than other forms. Additionally, they are generally acceptable and compliant with various rules. Their disadvantages include a short lifespan and questionable effectiveness in areas with higher wild animal crop damage risk.

Electric fences; 

Electric fences prevent animals from crossing by inducing an electric shock upon contact with the predator prevention fence. These fences are an efficient and reliable crop protection measure. Costs fluctuate depending on the specific nature and size of a region.

 It is crucial to ensure that electric fences are permitted in a particular area and used to protect against endangered animal species. Additionally, it’s suggested that electric fences are marked with a warning sign to avoid any potential human contact.

  Usage of Repellents and Deterrents

Repellents and deterrents are effective methods of preventing wild animals from damaging crops. These methods create a harmful environment or trigger aggressive responses in animals, deterring them from causing harm to agricultural areas.

There are some reasons when and why to use repellents

 Crop Vulnerability:

 Repellents are especially helpful when crops are most sensitive, like during planting, germination, or fruiting. Applying repellents during these crucial times can help deter animals from causing harm.

Targeted Protection: 

Repellents can be used to protect particular crops that are known to draw in particular kinds of animals. For example, applying bird repellents can shield berry bushes or fruit trees from bird damage.

Temporary Measures: 

Repellents can used as temporary measures while more long-term crop protection techniques, such as commercial fencing installation, are being implemented. They offer instant deterrence until long-term remedies are in place.

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