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20 February 2023

What do hail nets cost?

What do hail nets cost?

The question that every fruit grower asks at some point. Personally, I also come across this question a lot. It is of course a question that matters. What investment do you need to make to protect your harvest optimally? Which hail net system is better to choose?

When should you invest in hail nets?

The best time to invest in harvest protection is at a new planting. The trees that are planted can then be immediately supported by the structure. This saves a lot in costs. The structure, or foundation, can be invested in first. When the trees are 2 or 3 years old, the hail nets can be installed. You save about €1,000 to €1,500 per hectare if you use the structure as support.

What are the costs of hail nets?

To answer this question fairly, parameters are needed. This is because each plot is different. What affects the price of hail nets? I mention a number of important points below.

  • Surface

The larger the area of the plot, the more favourable it is to the price. This is because the anchoring is the most expensive. By this I mean a thicker pole at the end, with an anchor, a cable and an anti-sinking plate. This is not necessary in the middle of the plot. So the larger the plot, the better the ratios.

  • Soil type

If the soil type is very hard or contains many stones, installing concrete or wooden poles and anchors will take more time. Poles must be pre-drilled and anchors must be vibrated or hammered. Soft ground that offers little resistance requires larger anchors.

  • Pole distance

The biggest influence on the cost of hail nets is the distance at which the poles are placed. The further apart they are, the cheaper the system becomes. So why don't we increase the pole distance so that everything becomes cheaper? When you invest in hail nets, you invest in harvest security. If the system really has to do its job, you have to be able to rely on it, so in severe weather with hail, wind and rain. Therefore, a hail net system must be stable. It must provide the best protection. That is why distances cannot be shifted without limit.

  • Shape of the plot

The most price-friendly shape is rectangular. However, most plots are angled or have corners and are round. This is of course not a problem during installation. However, there may be additional costs for this. However, this is not always the case.

Flat Hail Net System with three-row sprayer

Cost of hail net cover per hectare

I do want to let you know what a hail net costs. I have assumed an average price for 1 hectare. The cost of traditional hail nets in fruit growing is €23,500 per hectare. This is the cost of the materials. The materials then have to be assembled. For installation, the cost is about €10,000 per hectare.

So the total investment is €33,500 for 1 hectare of hail net cover.

The cost of a three-row system or flat hail net is €25,500 per hectare. This is because the system is just a little heavier. Assembly costs for the flat hail net are also about €10,000. So the total investment is €35,500,- euro for 1 hectare of hail net.

Want to know what the cost is for your plot? Click here and we will contact you.

Wooden posts or concrete posts?

Is there a difference in price per acre between using wooden poles and concrete poles to install a hail net enclosure?

Yes, there is indeed a difference. With the traditional hail net system, using wooden posts costs about €12,500 per hectare, while concrete posts cost about €7,800 per hectare.

In the flat hail net system, wooden posts cost about €14,200 per hectare, while concrete posts cost about €9,500 per hectare. For installation and installation, there is no distinction between wooden posts or concrete posts.

Wooden stakes look a bit friendlier in an orchard but do pay attention to the quality of the stakes you purchase. This is because there are many poor-quality posts on the market that can quickly crack. So look for high-quality wooden posts to ensure the longevity of the hail net system.

So to sum up:
Traditional system:

  • Wooden posts cost per hectare €12,500.
  • Concrete posts costper hectare €7,800. 

For the flat hail net system (three-row system):

  • Wooden posts cost per hectare €14,200,-
  • Concrete posts cost per hectare €9,500,-

Replacement of hail nets

The cost to replace hail nets on a traditional system per hectare is €8,100. With a flat system, it is €6,200 However, includes the same costs for installation and removal of the nets. Often, the old clips are also disposed of and replaced to make sure they are suitable for the next x number of years.

Maintaining your system

Purchasing hail nets is an investment that should yield returns over the next few years. To extend the life of these nets, it is essential to carry out regular maintenance on the structure and the nets themselves. By tightening the system annually and repairing any cracks or other wear and tear immediately, the hail nets can be kept in good condition for long-term use.

If you plan to do the maintenance yourself, it is important to invest in the right tools to do this efficiently. Purchasing tools, including a collet and sewing machine, can add another investment of around €1000.

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!