MITHS TO DISPEL
A single-row anti-hail net in orchards
doesn’t need to be secured/reinforced crosswise
If you want to grow fruit, today more than ever you need an installation with a cover to protect against bad weather, where the greatest danger is hail but you also have to be prepared for other atmospheric events like wind, sun and cold that can irretrievably damaging your crops.
We have to protect orchards of different shapes, not just in terms of extension but above all in terms of “types of farming“, and we have the best technologies to create a modern, efficient and effective covering system, and we also have various systems for positioning and securing the nets or films.
But you have to remember that we’re working with structures under tension – systems of posts, wires and cables bound together and maintained in tension to support the covers – and consequently they must be built according to very precise rules.
One of these envisages that the structure be anchored longitudinally and transversely to guarantee the stability necessary to withstand the stresses caused by bad weather. This is not a subjective assessment but a necessary condition for the structures to “remain standing”!
In recent years a form of farming has become popular among fruit growers that employs very narrow planting layouts (2.50 m rows) and plants that are not very tall (max 2.50 m). This allows working without the aid of machines like a harvesting tractor to reduce production costs.
These systems, which are also called “pedestrian” orchards precisely because you walk along the rows to perform work manually, have very narrow layouts that entail costs for cover systems that are a bit higher than those for conventional layouts.
To solve this problem, some have decided to cover single rows, assuming that this simplification could sufficiently reduce the costs of installation.
This simplification has gone so far as to create covers simply by laying the anti-hail net directly on the plants (a practice that had already been tried many years ago without any positive results), not considering that the developing branches would grow into the net and the outermost fruits would still be damaged by hail.
This method doesn’t even work on taller orchards (higher than 4 m).
This practice should absolutely be avoided as protection against hail is not guaranteed and the management of the net on the plants is problematic – not to mention very labour-intensive – but worst of all the structure is not safe or able to withstand the stresses of bad weather, and consequently you risk seeing your rows collapse to the ground, totally destroying your orchard.
If you do opt to cover each single row, you must still secure them crosswise to guarantee their stability.
So be careful because this is the classic example of how “practice without theory is dangerous”. Neglecting the fundamentals and pretending that everything works is unprofessional and very harmful to those who, based on bad advice, install the covers and then risk losing everything in 10 minutes.
When advising your customers on choices to be made, you must always assess all the factors involved to be able to identify the best solution. In this case the objective is to make the choice that guarantees the most reliable result from a technical and practical point of view.
This is what we do with our customers, trying to guide them towards a choice that is not only informed but safe!
You can rely on our team. We’ll be happy to put our experience at your service to help you in the best possible way!