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Janglers available for 2013 harvest

Published on 03/12/2012

Innovative Canterbury cropping farmer invention, The Jangler bird deterrent, is now available.

Merchants, farmers and researchers can purchase Jangler Version 4.0 machines outright, or opt for a three-year lease-to-own contract.

Developer AB Annand now has machines available for immediate delivery and installation, and will assist with setup as required.

Jangler 4.0 is the culmination of many years of trial and error, coupled with extensive research into a range of topics including bird behaviour, solar panel technology and electronic control systems.

There was also much workshop tinkering to perfect a device that will run reliably all season and for many seasons.  
The machine works on a very simple principle.

A length of wire runs through a crop, with a series of visual and acoustic distractors — the “jangly bits” — hanging on the wire at intervals.

The wire is anchored at one end to the Jangler machine, which randomly jerks the wire in a particular way.

This sets in motion a wave that progressively flings the jangly bits into the air. The optimum jerk of the wire — the key to the invention’s success — is achieved by a rotating disk with the wire anchored to its the outer edge: one timed rotation of the disc produces one wire wave.

The idea is to run a spaced series of Janglers in parallel through a crop. The Jangler team has established that the wire works well at 500 metres in length but has also developed Jangler machines with lines that work on even longer runs.
On-farm trials over the past two to three years mean the effectiveness of the system in protecting high-value seed crops from birds is beyond doubt among growers now, says Jangler project manager Leanne Doherty.

“It’s chaotic and birds don’t like it. They fly away. Our trials show The Jangler keeps a paddock 99 per cent free of birds.”
This latest iteration of the device incorporates smart circuitry that keeps the machine going in the field, clearly displays its status and provides some new features.

Leanne Doherty says new electronics have contributed greater reliability and effectiveness to the design:

The Jangler was already able to sense the timing of dawn and dusk when birds are at their hungriest and it possessed other intelligence features as well, but with Version 4.0, developer AB Annand has a device that will work reliably and effectively for extended periods in valuable seeding crops.

Doherty says enhancements trialled in 36 machines at various sites in Manawatu and Canterbury over the 2011/12 cropping season have shown The Jangler to be reliable and easy to operate and service.

“We’ve moved away from separate componentry to a single integrated printed circuit board with an LED screen that’s very easy to operate. It tells you everything that’s going on with the machine and allows you to change settings easily.

“Just pushing a couple of buttons can change the frequency, how it starts in the morning … and it can tell you if and when anything has gone wrong.

“It’s more user-friendly — and still more reliable because of the integrated circuit board that runs the device, meaning there’s not a whole lot of separate components in there than can fail or come loose.”

The Annand company worked on the concept after years of frustration with bird predation in seed crops, and exhausting all other available deterrents.

They tried chemicals. They tried attracting larger predatory birds. They tried every gizmo brought to market.
And they even tried a few out-there ideas that are best not disclosed.

All these attempts, however, pointed inexorably to the fact that the ultimate successful method would be one that continually and randomly unnerved the unwelcome diners.

Although the principle of The Jangler is simple, implementation has been quite the opposite.

It took several years and a significant R&D spend to refine the idea into a system that would work reliably and continually for weeks on end without regular human intervention.

But the outcome vindicates all the effort — a deterrent that’s harmless to birds, sustainable and sufficiently novel to have gained a New Zealand patent. It took the top Innovation Prize at the 2011 South Island Agricultural Field Days.

The invention was cited by the SIAFD judges for combining simple technologies to achieve terrific economic effect for seed and fruit growers.

It has also proved significantly more cost-effective than conventional netting — and also more convenient than netting in that the wires can easily be lowered to the ground allowing irrigators or other plant to drive over them.

More information, and a brief video of the Jangler in action, is at

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