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26 November 2021

Three-row Munckhof Sprayers and Flat Hail Net System

Three-row Munckhof Sprayers and Flat Hail Net System

Combination of the Flat Hail Net System and the three-row sprayer have proven themselves for 12½ years at Fruitbedrijf Van Westreenen in Echteld (NL).

Fruitbedrijf Van Westreenen in Echteld grows Kanzi apples and Conference pears on 75 hectares for the upper segment of the export market. The high quality requirements and the size of the total acreage require fast response to the right weather conditions. The combination of the Flat hail netting system and two Munckhof three-row sprayers at Van Westreenen has proven itself for 12½ years now. Van Westreenen benefits from the speed and accuracy of the three row sprayers and the workspace and light of the Flat hail net system. The fear of some fruit growers that the flat hail net system might collapse under the weight of a heavy hailstorm still appears to be unfounded after 12½ years.

Fruitbedrijf van Westreenen 100 years

Being able to switch gears quickly and spray in good weather is crucial

Berend-Jan van Westreenen: "Quickly switching to spray under ideal weather conditions is crucial for the best effect of the sprays. The Flat hail net system offers a lot of working space under the hail nets. The row spacing of the posts, the ample headroom and the post spacing allow me to work well with the three-row sprayers. At times when we want to spray, the hail nets do not have to be raised first. With six men, that takes us an hour per hectare. I have been using the Flat hail net system for 12½ years now. I regularly have to deal with hail, which without hail nets, would cause moderate to heavy damage. There is then a good deal of hail on the nets. It takes a while for the nets to get rid of the hail. Under the weight of an excessive hail storm, the nets sag a little. That takes some thinking and getting used to. My experience is that the nets are very strong. The span of the nets is calculated so that the risk of sagging is theoretically zero. In the 12½ years that I have been using the nets I have never had any problems. There are alternatives to the Flat hail net system, but they do not offer enough space to work with the three-row sprayers."

Munckhof three-row sprayers

High capacity and right leaf coverage with three-row sprayers from Munckhof

Van Westreenen has been working with two three-row sprayers from Munckhof since 2010. Berend-Jan: "This is my second batch of three-row sprayers from Munckhof. My three-row sprayers from January 2021 are equipped with the VariMAS wind direction system in which the air pressure on the blow-out openings is automatically regulated. Even with headwinds, the three-row sprayers ensure the correct leaf coverage and positioning of the spraying agents in the middle of the blade. The spray capacity is high. We spray one hectare of fruit in 20 minutes. It used to be 45 minutes per hectare. Berend-Jan van Westreenen "The combination of the Munckhof three-row sprayers and FruitSecurity's Vlak hail net system works unprecedentedly well. This year for 12½ years."

FruitSecurity Holland hailnets

Flat Hail Netting System provides plenty of work space and light

Gerben van Veldhuizen of FruitSecurity sees increasing interest in the Flat Hail Net System. "Traditional hail nets sag a bit. Flat hail net systems create more light and more working space in the orchard. This allows fruit growers to work well with the three-row sprayer. It makes the orchard more future-proof. Van Westreenen was one of the first to invest in the combination of the Flat anti-hail net system and two three-row sprayers from Munckhof. After him, many more of our customers followed. The Flat Hail Net System originates from Austria where extreme hail storms and strong winds are much more common. We have since sold quite a few Flat Hail Net Systems and seen hailstorms. So far without any problems."