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12 September 2023

How good is the automatic hail net system?

How good is the automatic hail net system?

The automatic hail net system was conceived and designed by Gerben and Teus of FruitSecurity Holland as the innovation for fruit growing. Almost 10 years later, it is time to look back at this innovation and consider the future.

Why invented and designed?

When the first hail net systems were built in the Netherlands, 1 of the many disadvantages was light loss. Many growers were afraid that the crop would have too little light under the hail nets. So the hail nets only had to protect when there was hail.

Very soon after the first automatic hail net systems were installed, people in the Netherlands and Belgium were testing darker shades of hail nets. Grey, light grey and sometimes even black.

Apple growing has suffered from sunburn in recent years after the development of the automatic hail net system. As a result, the light loss of the hail nets has actually become an advantage.


What does fruit farming need now?

For the next few years, fruit crops will have enough light coming through the normal hail nets. Automatic hail net systems will not be used much yet because of this.

There are many tools in fruit growing. There is only 1 thing everyone is short of. Employees. Opening and closing a canopy efficiently or automatically does play an important role here.

Do automatic hail nets have any future?

Automatic hail nets are definitely the future! There are few industries where there is so much innovation for automation. Due to the lack of workers in particular, there will one day come a time when the fruit grower will hardly need to go outside. And at that time, the autonomous sprayer, weather sensors and picking robot will figure out the best climate for the fruit with the grower's expertise. And probably also create that climate on its own.

The automatic system, like fruit growing, is far from being completely evolved. In 2023, FruitSecurity introduced the first (affordable and working) automatic rain covers. And those 2 automatic canopies will continue to be developed just like the PowerFlex system, and our hail net systems. The weather changes, so we change too.

In conclusion

Automatic hail net systems are becoming a must. But when? FruitSecurity Holland and myself dare not say yet. For the next few years, the regular hail net systems will offer sufficient working convenience.

Wilbert Hendriksen    

Wilbert Hendriksen

Productspecialist fruitprotection

My mission and duty is to help as many fruit growers as possible get a good harvest.

So that fruit damage can be prevented, no delivery problems occur

and that fruit growers can harvest successfully!