Dear friends,

The dates in the Arava and of course, other places too, are suffering from pests that eat the fruit and sometimes, the damage can increase until 10% of the yield.  Farmers use chemicals to kill the pests.  There are also migrant birds that fly from Africa to Europe through Arava and “take rest” in the Arava and sometimes die because of eating the poisoned fruits.  Dr. Jessica, entomologist researcher from Southern Arava, tried to use birds as biological pest control system.  ICA grant was used to develop a new protocol about how to use birds as the biological pest control.  It was difficult to convince the farmers not to use chemicals and to believe that birds can be the answer.  This year, the spraying of chemicals was reduced by 50% and the yield damage was reduced to only 5%.  So, we can understand that the birds did a wonderful job.  The 2 photos attached herewith are showing the antenna that controls and speaks with the sensors that are connected to the legs of the birds.  The data that are collected can give a new knowledge for the researchers how to approve this technique.  If this succeeds (and it seems that it is successful), we will need to bring several equipment to other places in Israel.  The full report of this research is in ICA’s files and if anyone is interested in reading it, I will be glad to share it. 

Have a nice weekend !!!


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