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5 October 2023

What frost protection methods exist?

What frost protection methods exist?

What a stressful period! Frosts causes damage to fruit crops every year. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions.

Solutions is often an expensive word for ''hefty investment''. If it had been cheap we wouldn't have heard stories of frost damage every year. In this blog, I want to compare these 'solutions':

  • Sprinkling
  • Burning
  • Wind
  • Canopy
  • Electrical tracing

Sprinkling

1 of the oldest frost solutions is watering. If you are well prepared, you can water each plot with 1 switch. It may happen that a sprinkler does not work, for example, in which case you are a bit busier.

Most plots are laid out with drip hoses. So the water system is often already in place. As a result, the investment only consists of the sprinkler system.

Burning as frost protection

There are several options that use fire for frost control.

Frost Ovens

Several suppliers supply ovens. These ovens are placed in the orchard and lit. Keeping a plot warm overnight requires quite a lot of prunings. Special briquettes are often used for this purpose. With ovens, the temperature can be raised quickly.

Frost candles

Frost candles are similar to ovens. However, candles are easier to put down and light. Choosing candles does make them a lot more expensive. Read the cost comparison between candles and ovens here.

vorstkaars

Hot air canons

There are driving hot air cannons and air cannons remaining. Propane gas is burned which is blown through the orchard.

The travelling heat guns have to be driven around with a tractor. This method is thus labour-intensive.

Wind machines

Warm air rises. With a windmachine the warm air that is above the orchard is sent down. So the operation of these machines depends partly on how hot it is above the orchard.

Wind machines have high investment costs, but a tremendously low cost. Labour in minimal as is energy consumption.

Fruit protection systems

Canopies give a big advantage in fighting frost. Of course, this is a hefty investment. But do you have the canopy in place? Then you can put it to good use. Note that a canopy is never resistant to snow.

Another advantage is that the heat stays under the canopy.

fruitoverkapping

Electrial tracing

This method is mainly used in viticulture. A wire close to the fruit is energised. This creates heat. Because the system has not been on the market for long, we as FruitSecurity Holland are not very familiar with it. Do you supply this method? We would be happy to publish your blog on our website!


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!

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