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Knowledge Center

Knowledge Center

Information about our company and articles

23 October 2023

When should you buy hail nets?

When should you buy hail nets?

Your apples and pears are almost ripe for picking. The preparations for the harvest are going well. The prices for apples and pears are promising. But then you read the weather forecast: Thunderstorms expected tonight. Can you sleep soundly, or will you be awake half the night?

For instance, in Belgium, the number of thunderstorm days has increased over the past century. From 60 to 94 thunderstorm days a year. A higher chance of hail means a higher chance of sleepless nights. Is that necessary? Shouldn't you just focus on the harvest?

Fortunately, there are hail nets... But when should you, as a fruit grower, invest in hail nets? In this blog, I provide the answer!

PS Read here what weather changes you can expect in the future.

Ordered today, delivered tomorrow?

When exactly should you invest in hail nets? Of course, before hail can damage your harvest. But if you wait until there's a chance of hail, it's too late... With hail nets, it's not a case of order today, get it tomorrow.

hail netting

Investing in hail nets is something you do...

You should invest in hail nets at least 3 months before the blossoming starts. April is the blossoming month. So, you should invest in hail nets around the New Year. You can always invest later and hope everything arrives on time. But then there's a good chance your harvest will still be damaged by hail.

Or you invest in hail nets right after the harvest. This gives you plenty of time to order and install the hail nets. And it lets your orchard acclimatize for the next harvest.

hail netting

Why hail nets?

Hail doesn't just damage your fruit. Other disadvantages include: leaf damage, branch breaks, fruit tree cancer, and loss of yield. It's not just the immediate damage; there's also subsequent damage!

  1. Consequential damage to your apple or pear trees. Leaf damage can affect photosynthesis. Broken branches can harm the structure of your fruit tree. The tree can be infected, resulting in fruit tree cancer. Your orchard's yield can be significantly affected by hail in the years following the hail damage.

  2. Supply lower than demand. Especially with club varieties, it's important to match the supply of apples and pears to the demand. With hail damage, there's less supply, and the demand can't always be met. This is negative for the brand of the apple or pear.

  3. Losing the market. When your apples or pears are damaged by hail, you have nothing to offer your buyer. The next year, you'll have to look for new customers.

hail netting

The 10 most frequently asked questions about investing in hail nets:

  1. Are there subsidies available for hail nets? Yes, subsidies are available for hail nets. An example is the MIA/Vamil scheme.
  2. What are alternatives to hail nets? A hail insurance or a hail cannon are both alternatives to hail nets.
  3. What's the lifespan of a hail net? The lifespan of a hail net depends on the color and type of hail net. The WIESEL type in crystal color lasts on average 10 years. And the lifespan of a black WIESEL hail net is 20 years.
  4. Do you need a different type of hail net for every variety? No, but you can choose a different color hail net for each variety. Some varieties, for instance, color better under lighter hail nets.
  5. Should you also immediately invest in hail nets for a new planting? Yes, usually, the infrastructure (construction) is invested in first. When the trees bear enough fruit, it's wise to also install the hail nets.
  6. How quickly have I recouped my investment in hail nets? Through this link, you can calculate how quickly hail nets pay for themselves.
  7. Where can I find the most suitable supplier of hail nets? Research different suppliers online. Ask for recommendations from fellow growers. And assess the quality of existing systems from suppliers.
  8. How much does it cost to invest in hail nets? The average investment for one hectare of hail net canopy including installation is € 36,000. Read here everything about the prices of hail net systems.
  9. Can I install hail nets myself? Yes, installing hail nets yourself is simple. Various suppliers also offer installation options.
  10. Are there recurring costs when investing in hail nets? Yes, hail nets need to be rolled out and rolled up annually. Rolled out when the season starts, and rolled up when the season is over. Possible annual maintenance can also bring recurring costs.

Of course, there are more questions than these 10. And we have even more knowledge to provide comprehensive answers. Ask your question below, and we'd be happy to answer!

In conclusion

So, invest in hail nets around the New Year. Or invest right after the harvest. This way, you prevent hail damage and the consequential damage that comes with it!


Rick Mudde - English

Rick Mudde

Product specialist fruit canopies

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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