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10 July 2023

Why is the Flat Hail Net System the best 3 row hailnet system?

Why is the Flat Hail Net System the best 3 row hailnet system?

A question we regularly get is "why are you the best?" or "why is your hail net system the best?". We understand this question very well. If you have to invest money, you want to know what you are investing it in and what you get for it.

In this blog, I want to take you through the technical secrets of this anti hail net canopy.

This blog contains many links to other pages on our website. To get a fair idea of whether this system suits you, I recommend reading the whole blog first and then the links.

I want to discuss these factors with you:

  1. Price
  2. Spacing
  3. Lifetime
  4. Light loss and sunburn
  5. Fruit
  6. Recurring costs
  7. Assembly
  8. Our promise
  9. Technical information
  10. Grower who has gone before you


But before we discuss these factors, let me take you through the history of the three-row system.

Several anti hail net suppliers in fruit growing claim the three-row system as their innovation. So who came up with the system we will leave in the middle now. With certainty we can say that someone started building the system in the Netherlands, and that this fruit canopy has been there the longest😉. Read more about the different providers of 3-row systems here.

15 years ago, the first 3-row sprayers were marketed by Munckhof Fruit Tech Innovators with red-green machines and KWH with blue-yellow machines. Later, of course, several brands entered the market, such as Hol Spraying Systems (H.S.S) and Wanner.

To still be able to spray under hail nets with a three-row sprayer, the flat hail net system, or the three-row hail net system was devised.

3-row hail net

The 10 measuring points whether this 3-row system suits you.

1. Price

Our vision with which we designed this system is: affordable, tested systems that optimally protect crops.

We are transparent about the price of our systems (check the current price here). As a result, you know where you stand even before you have contacted us.

The system can be made as expensive as you want. (The system can even open and close automatically if that is your wish.) But not cheaper. This is because it must remain a tested system, so smaller anchor spacings, thinner posts or larger post spacings are not possible. Because the flat hail net system is somewhat heavier than the traditional system, the 3-row system is slightly more expensive. The investment is on average 2,000 euros higher per hectare.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I want a supplier who knows what can and cannot do. And who doesn't deviate from it to push the price down.
  • I want an affordable system.
  • I want a supplier who communicates openly and honestly about the price of the system.

hail net with snow

*Disclaimer: This picture is a test. There should never be snow on a hail net system!

2. Distances and key dimensions

Our vision is: affordable, tested systems that optimally protect crops.

The flat hail net system does not dissolve the hail. This prevents scatter damage. This does mean that the system must be ironclad to bear that load.

Our systems are tested. Every post spacing, every anchor abutment, every clip, etc. This makes the system rock-solid and proven. Can't I use fewer clips then? Anything goes. But FruitSecurity has tested and calculated it so that you can be busy growing the best fruit. Because of this, it is not desirable to use a different clip, or a different spacing. Every part is made to become 1 whole together.

Optimal protection and complete unburdening is what we call it at FruitSecurity. We are busy designing and building the best systems so you can grow the best fruit!

Row distances are possible up to 11 metres. The clearance height is optimal at 5.0m but in good consultation other clearance heights are also possible. Pole spacing is up to 3.5m.

We cannot say it often enough, because this mistake is still being made after almost 25 years of hail netting. A hail net system with an anchor distance smaller than 3.0m only protects against sunlight. If a heavy hail falls, a system with a smaller anchor distance collapses. Read more here!

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • Above all, my system must do what it was built to do: provide years of optimal protection.
  • I want to be unburdened in this. (Even if I build it myself, I want to know system standards. This ensures I never make the mistakes that have already been made).

Apples hailnets

3. Life span and maintenance

Innovations are nice. But nobody buys the latest, most expensive pruners that last 2 pruning cycles.

Lifespan depends on very many factors. How much wind blows in your area, do you maintain the system properly, do you tighten the system every year, do you immediately repair things that are broken, etc.

Just as a car needs to be maintained in its time, so do canopies. Take car tyres: Is the pressure on the tyre too high? Then the tyre wears out quickly. Is the pressure too low? Then the tyres wear out quickly, and you consume more fuel.

 These actions should be carried out every year for optimal fruit canopy life:

  • Tightening of all wires
  • Checking for holes in the net
  • Repairs

In the construction is the strength of the system, if the wires are not tightened properly every year, the construction is weak, and the system may not work as it should.

If all is well, it never has to. Repair damage. But it is always possible that a pole gets knocked over, or the hail net does rub against something. Repair this immediately. Small holes become big holes. And big holes mean less protected fruit.

The lifespan of the 3-row system is divided into 2 parts:

Hailnet and clips

The hail net and clips naturally close much faster than the construction. Crystal hail netting lasts about 10 years. Black hail netting can last up to 25 years. At the same time as the hail net, it is wise to replace the clips. Sometimes they can last another five years, but it is not cost-effective to replace the clips five years after new hail nets have been installed. Read more about lifespan here!


The concrete posts and wires practically never wear out. However, if you have knocked over a post or wire once, it is wise to repair it immediately. If this is not done, the hail nets tend to wear much harder than necessary.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I am willing to maintain my system because it is a hefty investment. Or I call FruitSecurity to fix it.
  • A lifespan of 10 years on hail nets is enough. I will have long since paid that back with my fruit by then.

black hail net

4. Light loss and sunburn

Light loss is a blessing in years of high sunshine and less optimal in years of low sunshine. As a result, each grower has to make his own choice whether a hail net system takes away too much light.

Many growers in the Netherlands are happy with light loss under the hail netting system. As a result, they suffer less from sunburn. Whereas 10 years ago we installed nets as light as possible, now black nets are installed.

Sunburn is a growing problem in fruit growing. Only this does not apply to everyone. There are growers who do need as much light as possible.

So this measuring point is actually not just about our system. It's about whether you should take a hail net system at all. Virtually all 3 rows of systems cast the same shade on pole and wire structures (if not, you have to worry about whether the system will stay put after a storm). And with any supplier you can pick the colour netting (don't just look at colour or price. Longevity is always cheaper in the end). Read all about colour hail nets here!

That's growing fruit, making tough choices. That's what you are good at. We are good at building canopies and helping you make the best choice.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • Colour hail net is important to me and I want to be supported in this by my supplier.

Take a look at these videos:

 5. Fruits and varieties

Under the flat hail net system, the following types of fruit are worldwide:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Various berries
  • Olives
  • Various citrus fruits
  • Strawberries
  • And so on.

This system is basically suitable for all crops. Some things may have to be adapted for each fruit variety, such as the type of net or anchors, but it remains a flat hail net system.

Especially club varieties are covered, such as Sprank (Magic Star). Being able to prove on paper that you can continue to deliver is worth its weight in gold for you and your customer. We can support you in this. Contact us for the possibilities. Our goal is for our customers to have a higher turnover with less effort.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I want to be able to demonstrate to my buyers that this is a proven system.
  • My fruit is worth enough to choose the best protection.

strawberries under hail net

6. Summer/winter position

A hail net system always has recurring costs. These are the roll-up and roll-down and the maintenance that needs to be done to the system.
On average, hail net systems are brought into summer position in 20 hours per hectare and into winter position in 20 hours. To roll-up and roll-down a hail net system, an aerial platform is a must-have.

Rolling up and unrolling a hail net system should always be done. Only some systems are easier to roll up than others. So check this carefully when you buy a cover. Especially rolling up should always be done during the period when you are busiest.

Read more here!

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • My system does not need to open and close automatically.
  • I calculated the roll-up and roll-down in my 'return on investment' calculation.

Opening and closing hail nets

7. installation

Our 3 row system is very easy to assemble yourself, or by our assembly team.

In recent years, FruitSecurity Holland has made efforts to train fruit growers to become fruit canopy builders. This through manuals, 3D videos, assembly videos, an extra project leader, training of our inside sales team, etc. to be able to guide you as well as possible in building our covers.

Read more about building your hailnetting system yourself and having us build your hailnetting system.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I want my system built by an experienced team/I want an experienced team to help me build my system.

3 rows hail netting

8. Our promise

We care about global fruit growing. Through our years of contact with fruit growers, we now know better than anyone else what it must be like for you to see your crop fail with just one hailstorm. That is why we have now roofed over 6,500,000 m2 in 24 countries and we work closely with the best partners in global fruit growing.

What to make of this story?

Nothing. It is a promise we make to you as a FruitSecurity Holland customer. We will always be there for you, and as far as we can try to help you grow the best fruit.

We will keep you informed of developments in the world of protection. Come to you for coffee. And think along with you.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I want an equal, win-win relationship with FruitSecurity Holland.

3 rows of sprayer and hail net

9. Technical information

In the previous chapters, I have given you technical information about the system. But also what we can do for you.

Even more technical information is here, in this datasheet.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • The system I understand in the basics.
  • I have confidence in this system.
  • A fruit canopy with an anchor distance under 3.0m only protects against sun and birds.

Apple, hail net

10. Grower who went before you

Finally, I would like to share a story from a grower who has gone before you.

Martijn Slabbekoorn: "We chose the reliable Flat Hailnet System from Fruitsecurity Holland. We work with three-row sprayers so the Flat hailnet system was a logical choice. Given the future with automation in robotic sprayers, it doesn't matter which system you choose. Only under the Flat Hailnet System can you always get out of the way.

Fruitsecurity Holland delivered the canopy Turn-Key. This saves me a lot of worry. I am a fruit grower and our job is to grow fruit. Then it's great if you can outsource the construction of the hail nets, especially with this plot.

There are 3 pipelines running under the plot: gas, electricity and chemicals. Also, a high-voltage overhead line. So there were four agencies that interfered with the licensing and construction of the canopy system. You name it. FruitSecurity Holland took up the entire process with the pipeline operators.

Because FruitSecurity Holland itself does the GPS surveying and design, it was easy to communicate with these relevant parties. They clearly have experience in dealing with such parties. In the end, everything was neatly arranged. For the overhead line, extra earthing was required to comply with the NEN 1010 standard. Despite the many anchors on the outside of the system, the manager found it necessary to have earth pins, which are required for the NEN 1010 standard, placed. Fruitsecurity Holland also installed these.

The entire project from preparation to completion was completed to our complete satisfaction."

Martijn Slabbekoorn 

Read the full story here: Slabbekoorn

Berend-Jan van Westreenen: “Switching quickly to spray under ideal weather conditions is crucial for the best performance of sprays. The Flat hail net system provides plenty of working space under the hail nets. The row spacing of the posts, the ample clearance and the post spacings allow me to work well with the three-row sprayers. At times when we want to spray, the hail nets don't need to be raised first. With six men, that takes us an hour per hectare. I have been using the Vlak hail net system for 12½ years now. I regularly have to deal with hail, which without hail nets would cause moderate to more severe damage. There is then a fair amount of hail on the nets. It takes a while for the nets to get rid of the hail. Under the weight of an excessive hailstorm, the nets do sag somewhat. That takes some getting used to. In my experience, the nets are very strong. The span of the nets is calculated in such a way that the risk of sagging is theoretically zero. In the 12½ years I have been using the nets, I have never had any problems. Alternatives to the flat hail netting system do exist, but they do not offer enough space to work with the three-row sprayers."

Berend-Jan van Westreenen

Read the full story here: Westreenen

And so are many more growers who already have the system in place. Wondering if anyone near you has the flat hail net system up and running? We would be happy to get in touch with you to visit a project together. Because only when you stand next to a fruit canopy can you really see whether it suits you.

Is this your 3-row hail net system?

Is this the system that suits you? We have put a lot of time and thought into this blog to coach you as best we can in your choice. Still not convinced? We will be happy to talk to you to clear up any further doubts. Didn't help? Is this rain hood just not your rain hood? Then we will be happy to help you find the supplier that does suit you.

Are you really ready for the next step?

Get in touch with us!

Wilbert Hendriksen    

Wilbert Hendriksen

Productspecialist fruitprotection

My mission and duty 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 that fruit growers can harvest successfully!