It all started in France. One farmer was complaining to another that he was losing as much as 30 percent of his silage due to pests. In this case, the second farmer did more than just sympathize, he started to ponder solutions, and eventually a product was created and a company was born.
The company is Protexia and the product is Agrirepel.
RealAgriculture’s Dale Leftwich had a chance to chat with the owners of Protexia’s North American division, Elizabeth and Benjamin Omet, at this year’s Agri-Trade show at Red Deer, Alta. Benjamin is from France and Elizabeth is from Texas, the company is based in Illinois, but they hope the product will have applications all over the world.
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Benjamin Omet explains that it was his father’s neighbour with the original issue. His father then started looking around to see if there was a product that could be used to deter pests, such as birds or rodents, that were damaging his neighbor’s silage. “We came up with a product line called Agrirepel and those are plastics – bale wrap, bunker covers, silage bags – that we bonded with a natural additive made out of essential oils that repels birds and rodents,” Omet says.
One of the unique features of the product is that it is a repellent, not a pesticide. This means that the pest does not have to eat any of the plastic, nor is the plastic damaged. The pest is simply repelled.
Another feature is that the product is durable and safe.”It’s totally non-toxic. It’s very harmless to the users, to the animals, to the forage itself. It’s bonded in the plastic so it doesn’t leak in the underground. In forage, it doesn’t wash out in the rain,” says Omet.