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15 December 2022

Which protects your orchard better? Frost ovens or Frost Candels?

Which protects your orchard better? Frost ovens or Frost Candels?

Which protects your orchard better? Frost ovens or Frost Candels? 

What stress spring frost can cause! Should the canopy be closed? Yes or no? Last years we also had late snow. That can cause significant damage to systems. Which grower has not had to deal with these concerns? And what is the best way to fight frost? Frost Ovens or Candels? Which is most economical? Read the article and you will know exactly what you need for night frost control.

In this article, we look at fire pots (paraffin candles) and Frost Ovens. Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM) and PC fruit have conducted research on these fire pots (paraffin candles) Frost Ovens. The Frost Ovens are from Voen and FruitSecurity Holland, respectively. For various reasons, stone fruit sprinkling is not possible. Fire pots (paraffin candles) or Frost Ovens are the solutions to raise the temperature in the orchard. In northern Italy, research on orchard temperature has been carried out from 2004. Temperature measurements were made in cherry orchards by Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM). These measurements showed that candles could be used to increase the temperature by 1 degree. However, if a foil canopy was fitted then the temperature gain could be up to 5 degrees! Studies by PC fruit (Belgium) also show such measurements.

Wind

Wind is an important factor to consider. The harder the wind blows, the less protection fire pots offer. Advice is to put more Frost Ovens or fire pots at the edge where the wind is coming from so that the heat blows into your plot.

To raise the temperature by 1.5 degrees with fire pots, 250 pots per hectare are needed. However, at -5 degrees, 400 fire pots are needed. With a row spacing of 3.5 metres, that means one pot is needed every 7 to 8 metres. If a foil canopy is present, this can be done with fewer pots.
 

Costs

According to FEM's research, fire pots cost 3,000 euros per hectare, per night. Frost Ovens cost 1,000 euros per hectare, per night. Frost Ovens are more expensive to buy. But because they can be used for several years, the cost over the longer term is much more advantageous. Frost Ovens are fired with pallets (VOEN) or with briquettes (FruitSecurity Holland). With Voen's Ovens, 30 to 50 stoves per hectare would suffice. FruitSecurity Holland's Forst Ovens require as many ovens as fire pots.

Burning hours

In reality, the burning hours of Frost Ovens are less than fire pots. Frost Ovens burn for 6 to 7 hours. And can be refilled when almost burnt out. Fire pots burn for an average of 8-9 hours. Fire pots (paraffin candles) are easily extinguished by closing the lid. Frost Ovens are impossible or difficult to extinguish.

Summary

  1. Frost Ovens are more cost effective than fire pots (paraffin candles). 
  2. Fire pots cost 3000 euros per night per ha.
  3. Frost Ovens cost 1000 euros per night per ha.
  4. Candles have a longer lifespan 8-9 hours. However, Frost Ovens can be topped up if frost persists. 
  5. Without Foil canopy max 1.5 degrees. With foil canopy 5 degrees temperature difference.

Frost oven in orchard

Source

Author: Gerben van Veldhuizen

Source: EFM (Europeaan Fruit Magazine)https://fruitmagazine.eu/

Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM) https://www.fmach.it/eng

Pc-fruit (proefcentrumfruitteelt VZW) https://www.pcfruit.be/nl

Voen https://www.voencoveringsystems.com/heater

FruitSecurity Holland https://www.fruitsecurityholland.com/en/frost-oven


Gerben van Veldhuizen - FruitSecurity Holland

Gerben van Veldhuizen

CEO & fruitprotection specialist

My mission 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 fruit growers can harvest successfully!

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