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4 April 2023

What is the best foil covering system?

What is the best foil covering system?

The fruit-growing sector is an important industry in Europe and plays a crucial role in the economy. Maintaining fruit trees and crops requires a lot of time and effort from fruit growers as it is a labour-intensive sector.

One of the biggest challenges for any fruit grower is protecting the crop from hail, frost and heavy rain. There are many systems on the market to address this challenge.

What brands of film canopies or rain covers are there in the market? In this blog, we list them all (all that we know of). Rain covering systems are available in different types, but which one suits you best? Whether you grow cherries, blueberries or other soft fruits, you need a rain protection system. But which one suits your situation best?

As a fruit grower, there are several factors to consider when buying a rain protection system, such as:

  1. Purpose of the foil system.

Usually the purpose is to protect against rain, but do you also want to use the cherry canopy against frost, hail, or do you want to protect the crop from the sun and insects?

  1. Climate and location.

The climate and location of the cherry cover can affect the system you need. For example, if you live in an area where there is a lot of wind, you will need a foil canopy that can withstand strong windstorms.

  1. Size of plot.

The area of the plot is important. What is the investment required and what is the budget?

  1. Installation and maintenance.

What is the cost of installing the canopy and what are the annual costs? Every year, the system has to be opened and closed. How much time does that take?

  1. Cost.

The cost of a foil cover is an important factor. What fits within your budget and what is the ROI-time? What is the lifespan? These are important questions when you calculate the cost of the canopy per year. The most important thing, however, is: what will the harvest give me?

By considering these factors and comparing different types and brands of covers, you can make an informed decision on what suits you and what does not. Everyone's needs and available budget are different.

Different foil covers

We will now walk through the different types of fruit covering systems from the different brands on the market. Suppose you are reading this article and think, "Hey, my canopy is not among them." Then send us a message and we can include it in a future review.

VOEN

Voen covering systems have long been a familiar phenomenon in fruit growing. They are characteristic because of the strips of foil sewn onto nets, overlapping each other to provide protection from rain. Ventilation is an important aspect of the foil canopy, which is self-ventilating thanks to the movable flaps. Even in light winds, the system is optimally ventilated when the flaps are open. When it rains, however, the flaps become heavy and closed. As soon as the rain passes, the flaps open again and the system can ventilate again.

Since 2021, the Voen covering system can be rolled up to the ridge. Voen Vöhringe presented VOEN Overwintering 2.0 at Expose 2021

''With VOEN Wintering 2.0, the time needed to open the VOEN foil before the season and winterise it again after the season is reduced by more than 50%. This leads to clear cost savings and puts VOEN in a leading position when it comes to the profitability and labour efficiency of canopies''. Says Rainer Weiß (owner of VOEN Covering systems).

A key innovation is the zip, which now makes it easy to close the canopy.

Voen foil canopies are mainly built on steel posts. The structure is made with cables and anchors under the posts ensure that the posts do go out of the ground. The anchors are drilled 60 cm into the ground and hold the poles in place. Voen systems can also be built on wooden posts, but this is less common.

Voen-system

Valente

Standard Protect Rainsystem is the rain cover of the Valente brand. In the Netherlands and Belgium, Valente is represented by Hermens Fruitsystems from Beek Limburg. Hermens Fruitssystems has more than 25 years of experience in fruit canopies and systems.

The Standart Protect Rainsystem is a rain protection system built on a structure of concrete posts. These prestressed concrete posts are of Valente pali's own brand. These are connected by a steel wire construction.

The rain cover is equipped with woven foil. This is laminated so that it is rainproof. The canopy shows many similarities to the Powerflex foil system from FruitSecurity Holland.

Valente Standart Protect Rainsystems protect against rain and hail. The systems have good wind resistance and can protect crops well.

Quickzip

Fruitsafe, also known as Hago Fruitsafe, offers a unique canopy for fruit growing with the Quickzip. Unlike other canopies, Quickzip uses a Zip system. This means that the sheets of foil, which are installed in profiles in the ridge of the canopy, can be pulled through the system. Each year the foil can be easily replaced and in winter it can be stored in the shed. Since 2023, the QuickZip system has been owned by Rovero, allowing all parts such as foil, profiles, poles and clips to be ordered from them. Rovero also supplies complete new systems under the name Rovero Quickzip.

The Quickzip system is built on steel poles anchored in the ground. The sides are stretched on a straight post with an angled post to the anchor. A cable construction is installed on the heads of the posts to provide strength to the system. The Zip profile is attached to the long cable. The foil is pulled into this Zip profile. The foil strips are made of woven foil. In the middle, the gutter, is hail netting or insect netting sewn. The film strip is pulled in its entirety between the two lugs.

The Quickzip system protects against hail, rain, birds and insects such as wasps. It is also a budget-friendly system.

Rovero Fruitoverkapping

Rovero offers two versions of the Fruit Canopy: a rain canopy with a fixed deck and a rain canopy with a loose deck. Both canopies are built on steel. With the fixed deck, the foil is permanently secured with C-clips that are clamped onto the tube together with the foil. The rain canopy with the fixed deck offers permanent protection to the crop, while the rain canopy with the loose deck offers the possibility to open and close. Rovero markets these canopies under the name Rovero Rain. They are particularly suitable for growing berries, cherries, blackberries and raspberries.

Rovero has a large dealer network around the world and manufactures most of its products in-house in Raamsdonkveer. With the takeover of Holland Tuinbouw Systemen in January 2023, Rovero will also address nurseries and garden centres interested in Cabriolet greenhouses, film greenhouses that can be opened from above.

Fruit Support Europe covers

Fruit Support Europe offers the roll-deck rain covers from Agrowser.

Agrowser has two types of roll cover systems: the 'standard' roll cover and the saw-tooth roll cover. The fruit canopies are usually custom-made. The canopies often have a width of 4.0 metres with sections of 4.5 metres. An aluminium ridge profile is placed on the ridge into which the foil is drawn. The foil deck consists of reinforced foil with insect netting in the gutter for ventilation.

The water is discharged through the gutter onto the grass track. The roll cover can be opened and closed quickly, for example in spring frosts. The system is rolled up with hand winding and in winter the rolled foil is secured with pull straps.

The system can be fitted with insect netting to protect against the Suzuki fly.

Fruit Support Europe levert ook het PowerFlex System from FruitSecurity Holland.

FSE roldek

Jan Bok

Jan Bok montage has developed its own roller deck for fruit growing. It is similar to systems from Agrowser and Rovero. The systems are built on steel tubes and posts and are linked together.

The foil is rolled up and unrolled with a roller tube and is tensioned in the system with tensile benches. Besides fruit canopies with rolling roofs, Jan Bok Installation focuses on the construction of foil greenhouses and tunnels. Jan Bok has its own production and can therefore produce flexible own products. Jan Bok Installation has its own installation team with which it builds the covers. The company is located in Zaltbommel (NL).

Frustar

Frustar is represented in the Netherlands and Belgium by Hilco Strik of the company Netteam NL.

Strik Fruits Services also operates as a brand name in the market.

Frustar has five different types of foil covers in their catalogue. I list them below, but unfortunately there is not much information available on these covers.

  1. System Standard

This system works with one sheet of foil per row of trees. The foil is pulled over the ridge and secured in the gutter on the other side of the row. In winter, the foil is stored in the gutter.

  1. System 'START-UP'

The START-UP system works with two sheets of foil attached to the ridge with hooks. The foil is stretched with a special elastic in the gutter. In winter, the foil is stored in the ridge.

  1. Keep in touch - Ántiaqua

This system packs each row with nets and foil, but this system is not widely used.

  1. System Pilatus

With the Pilatus system, Frustar claims to have a globally unique system on its hands. It works without cables and fixings under the foil.

  1. System Eco

The Eco system can be built on the same construction as hail nets.

Nicolai Covers

Nicolai Covers has designed two foil canopies, a standard system and a roll-up system with ventilation ridge. Bart Nicolai develops many of the materials himself. The systems are built on concrete, steel and wooden posts.

Nicolai

In conclusion

In this article, we have given an overview of different foil canopies available in fruit growing. We hope this article contributes to a good orientation in foil covering systems. As a fruit grower, you want only the best for your business. Good crop protection is priceless! Not only do you want to be able to harvest good products, but to sleep well at night.

Source

This information is from FruitSecurity Holland's experience, this research and from the suppliers' websites.


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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