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21 February 2023

Pros and cons of hail nets

Pros and cons of hail nets

Hail nets have become much more established in fruit growing over the past decade. The impact of hail and other damages caused by the weather also makes you as a grower think. What is wise? What choices should I make to be ready for the future?

You want to know what impact hail nets have on your fruit farm. You want to be prepared for the future, but what does choosing hail nets entail? We have listed the main pros and cons.

What are the five disadvantages of hail nets?

1. Cost of hail nets

Investing in hail nets involves additional costs. This increases the cost price of your product. You also have extra costs every year to bring the nets into winter mode and you have to maintain the hail nets. Per hectare, you quickly have to count on the 40 to 50 man hours per ha. 20 hours for opening the nets and 20 man hours for closing them. You can count the remaining 10 hours for maintenance. At least if you want to calculate honestly.


2. Installation of hail nets

Installing hail nets is an investment. Expect an investment of around 10.000 euros and 12.000 euros per ha. You can save by doing a lot yourself, but you need to have people available for that.

3. Hail nets give restrictions in your orchard

Anchors have been placed on the sides. This may be at the expense of trees or rows of trees. You also have to take into account driving in and out of the rows because there are large anchors there due to hail nets.

4. Climate under hail nets

Hail nets change the climate on your plot. In dark years, this can bring problems with colouring. This is because the nets do not let sunlight through as well.

5. Infections

Het kan vochtiger zijn onder de netten omdat het minder goed droogt. Dit kan gevolgen hebben voor je infectiedruk.

5 benefits of hail nets

1. Protection against hail damage

Hail nets were invented to prevent hail damage to fruit and fruit trees. Hail can severely damage crops, but also the fruit trees themselves. As a result, the damage from an intense hailstorm is still noticeable years later.

2. Sunburn under hail nets

Hail nets have the great added benefit of protecting against sunburn. Sunburn can cause enormous damage. In recent years, this has been an increasing problem in fruit growing.

3. Insects and birds

Hail nets also protect against insect pests and birds. Hail nets repel flying insects and birds. More and more growers choose to completely seal their system. Insects such as the stink bug can then be kept out of the orchard. Birds such as starlings and crows, as well as tits, can cause a lot of damage to fruit crops. Hail nets can be used to protect the orchard.


4. Improving fruit quality

Fruit harvested under hail nets is of better quality. It is less rough because it has less wind damage. The fruit generally grows bigger. This is probably because the peaks in temperature are less.

5. Support

Hail net systems can be used to support fruit trees. Because a hail net structure is well anchored, any planting can withstand strong winds much better. Because hail nets are anchored both longitudinally and transversely. In side winds, the trees are well anchored. 


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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