Copper anti-theft products and “no burn” legislation

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Paige Agwire announced release of its new comprehensive product line to deter copper theft. The three-part package designed for growers will make it easier to identify and prosecute copper thieves, which is a significant challenge nationwide.

The product line includes three components to combat the multimillion-dollar menace of copper theft: Proof Positive Signage, Paige Agwire Theft Alert, and Proof Positive Span Cable. Proof Positive Signage is a four-piece kit of reflective security signs written in both English and Spanish to post on irrigation equipment and the field perimeter to deter would-be thieves and warn of prosecution. Paige Agwire Theft Alert sends an alert immediately to owners and authorities when cable is tampered with or cut, decreasing the delay in tracking thieves.

Last, but certainly not least, is the core product that stands to dramatically alter the landscape of copper theft prosecution: Proof Positive Span Cable. Created with cutting-edge technology, Proof Positive Span Cable has a signature, bright yellow outer jacket and unique TraceID codes to verify original ownership. At the moment of sale, these TraceID codes enter a master database that is searchable by law enforcement and recyclers, proving ownership. And in the legal realm, it’s proof of ownership that counts.

Compounding the problem of copper theft is the individual scrap dealer. Thieves often burn stolen cable before selling it to scrap businesses. “The challenge to drastically decrease agricultural copper theft still lies among states who allow scrap dealers to accept burnt cable. Encouraging more states to pass ‘no burn’ laws would take our campaign to the next level. We believe this will greatly decrease the amount of stolen copper in both the agriculture and utility industries,” said Julie Bushell, director of sales and marketing for Paige’s Agwire Division.

Copper theft from span cables is a nationwide epidemic, plaguing individuals and businesses alike with approximately 30,000 cases of span cable theft every year, costing more than $40 million in replacements. This problem affects most industries, but the agriculture industry has taken a hard hit. The copper inside stolen span cables may be worth a few hundred dollars and trade just over $3 per pound, but the thefts leave growers with thousands of dollars of repairs, damaged crops, and rising insurance costs.

With the critical tools needed for prosecution now in the marketplace, lawmakers are more driven to press for “no-burn” laws. Paige Agwire is actively seeking ways to educate growers and affiliated agricultural businesses, encouraging them to press state legislators to pass “no burn” laws, which will prevent scrap dealers from accepting burned cable and further discourage copper theft.

Seventeen states have adopted “no burn” laws in support of growers. To date, Paige Agwire has worked with numerous state legislations, including Maryland and Missouri, to push for “no burn” laws, but without continued grower support, momentum is limited. More public support is needed to push for the legislation needed to hold scrap dealers accountable for accepting burned cable.

Paige Agwire also supports the End Copper Theft™ campaign, created by Southwire Company, North America’s leading manufacturer of wire and cable, and supported by the Institution of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Valley Irrigation, an original equipment manufacturer and worldwide leader in precision irrigation, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., one of the nation's largest recyclers of scrap metal, and Net Irrigate, LLC, a manufacturer of Wireless Agricultural Irrigation Monitoring technology.

The campaign was initiated to raise awareness among growers, irrigation dealers, metal recyclers, law enforcement, and legislators about how they can be part of the solution. Agriculture is foundational to the U.S. economy and the future of this industry will be impacted by who makes the next move — growers or thieves.

Visit to get involved with the End Copper Theft movement and help eliminate copper theft.

To learn more about Complete Theft Deterrent Solution, visit

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