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4 July 2023

Frost control in fruit growing: Innovation and cost savings with Frostflaps

Frost control in fruit growing: Innovation and cost savings with Frostflaps

As a fruit grower, you know that frost is the biggest threat to the harvest. There are several methods to combat frost. The traditional way often involves high costs. Besides, it is also Labour-intensive. In this article, we will discuss the different ways of frost control in fruit growing and we will look at method to save costs in a new, innovative way. Powerflex film system with Frostflaps!

Traditional frost protection methods

In fruit growing, there are several methods for frost control. The most commonly used are:

1. Sprinkling: not every grower can use this method because sufficient water must be available. Spraying the crop and blossom with water raises the temperature. The water that freezes around the flower releases energy to the flower. The flower becomes 'warm' by this energy and remains 0 degrees.

2. Wind machines: this is a kind of windmill. The machine ventilates the orchard by mixing air from higher layers of air. By mixing this warmer air with the cold air below in the orchard, the temprature is raised. Be careful with Polar frost. Then the upper air layer is even colder than it is at ground level and so the problem is exacerbated.

3. Frost Candles or Frost Ovens: These burners are used to produce heat in the orchard. The air temprature is raised.

These methods are the most commonly used methods in northern Europe. Although effective, these methods are often labour-intensive, energy-consuming and can be costly.

Want to know all about Frost ovens and frost candles? Click here!

frost fruit protection


The innovative development of Frostflaps

Every grower works to grow so economically with a good result for the harvest. That works here in the Netherlands and Belgium, but throughout Europe and the world it works the same way. To protect crops, especially cherry and apricot crops, from frost, canopies are closed.

The Powerflex film system the film canopy of Fruitsecurity Holland, for example, provides excellent protection against radiating frost. However, at times when it gets colder with frosts of -4 a-5 and sometimes more than -6, more is needed than just a closed canopy.

Frost candles and Frost ovens under the canopy work well. But how can heat be retained even better under the canopy? And that's where the development of Frostflaps came in. These are 2 strips of foil that can be mounted in the gutter. Very easy to fit in existing canopies. These 2 strips are closed with a clip and so the gutter is more closed and the canopy holds on longer. 

Frostflaps, frost protection

By installing these Frostflaps - with material costs of 1,500 euros per hectare and installation costs of 2,000 euros - you can reduce your use of frost candles from 250-300 to just 50-80. Given that the cost of a frost candle is around 12 euros, this can lead to significant savings.

Let's take an example. Without Frostflaps, you would need 250 frost candles, which amounts to 3,000 euros (250 candles x 12 euros). With Frostflaps, you would only need 60 candles, which amounts to 720 euros. That's a saving of 2280 euros per frost event.

frostprotection

After the frost period, the Frostflap does need to be rolled up to ensure good ventilation in the orchard. This takes a maximum of 10 hours per ha.

Conclusion

As a fruit grower, the main goal is to grow a good and healthy crop. It is about making the right decision to protect the crop. This solution gives an effective and efficient way to control frost. So you can grow better and cheaper!

Do you have further questions about Frostflaps or frost control in fruit growing? Don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to answer your questions and help you make the best decisions for your farm.


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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