Many people practicing agriculture want maximum returns from their crops and livestock. But they are not embracing the agriculture protection netting. Better still they are not doing it properly because they lack information on how to install netting and where to buy quality netting products and accessories.
There is a lot of scattered information on the internet net. However, most of them are not up-to-date comprehensive guides on installation.
So you will learn how to install agriculture protection netting. Even if you lack any experience in agriculture, it’s easy for you to learn the process of netting installation.
Let’s get started!
Chapter 1: Agriculture Protection Netting?
1.1 What is Agriculture Protection Netting?
If you practice agriculture, you will agree with me it has changed in our modern times. And guess what, the main change is an increasing need to protect the crops from their cultivation environment.
So as a grower, you need agriculture protection netting if:
- Your region is experiencing climate change especially the extreme events
- Your agricultural activities have been pushed to marginal areas by urbanization processes
- You are experiencing rising market demands for better agricultural product quality
- You want to reduce chemical and fertilizer applications
Importance of Agriculture Protection
If you’re going to reap full returns from your agriculture projects, you need to protect your crops and livestock by netting.
Agriculture protection netting is designed for you whatever your scale of production. The popular types of agriculture netting protect against wind, sun, hail, frost, and weed.
The function of some different agriculture protection netting (Picture captions from www.Eyouagro.com)
|1||Shade net||The net controls the amount of shade and sun on your plants. The shadow depends on your netting mesh size|
|2||Anti hail net||These nets protect your crops from hail and rain damages.|
|3||Insect Netting||It retains pollinating insects inside the mesh. It blocks harmful insects from reaching your greenhouses and tunnels.|
|4||Bird Control Netting||It protects your crops and fruit from bird, bats, and pest damage.|
|5||Weed fabric||Control the weed growth. They are non-woven fabric.|
|Windbreak netting||Protects your crops and fruits from winds.|
|6||Cherry cover||Protect your cherries from from rain, hail, dust, and frost.|
And the benefits are backed by science. A study on developing measures to promote the use of agriculture protection netting in India highlights the following benefits associated with mulch mat use in mango cultivation.
- An increase of yield by 33%
- An increase in the average selling price by 30%
Chapter 2: Installing Netting
When I first tried installing agriculture protection netting 12 years ago, I can’t even explain the number of hours I spent pondering numerous questions.
- What types of nettings to use？
- What type of posts to use?
- What size of the posts?
- How far apart to put supports?
- And where to get netting？
The length of time it took me to make decisions in all these! – let’s say ages.
2.1 Types of Netting and Characteristics
There are many types of netting with different characteristics. Some important characteristics to note are whether the netting is resistant to weather, microorganisms, solar radiation, and ultraviolet rays. Other characteristics include:
- Long service life
- Water conservation
- Stable construction
- Abrasion resistance
- Protection properties
The commonly used material for your agriculture nets is high-density polyethylene (HDPE). They are stabilized with ultraviolet light. This is because it is nontoxic material, easily convertible, recyclable, waterproof, and durable. Other most common materials are:
This is used in the production of nonwoven layers. It covers the plants in horticulture and orchards. And it protects against rain frost and wind.
- Starch-based biodegradable materials
The biodegradable can be disposed of directly to the soil to generate the compost. It however is not common due to its high costs and reduced physical and mechanical properties.
2.3 Mesh Size
There are mainly 3 points you should pay attention to for mesh size.
- First is the type of pests, you wish to control. Are they small thrips or big moths?
- Secondly, your ability to manage changes in orchard microclimate.
- And lastly financial factors. If you need netting with a small mesh size you will have to pay more.
The netting has a mesh and strands of monofilament. The strands of monofilament cross-stitches. Those with quadruple cross-stitches are referred to as quad nets. The mesh sizes range from 10 to 37 mm. Cross-stitched nets come in mesh sizes of 8, 12, 16, and 20 mm.
Hail nets designs have a small mesh suited for different canopy structures and climates. In areas where heavy hail is a regular occurrence go for a pitched roof net canopy. If however, you experience hail storms less regularly, go for flat canopy netting.
2.4 Net color
Your netting comes in many colors. And the most common types are white, black, and grey.
Prices are the same for either black or white nets.
White nets reflect light through the mesh and reduce light less than black nets of the same mesh size.
Grey nets have properties between white and black nets are also available.
2.5 Net width
You should ensure net panel widths overlap with tree row widths. The panels are 10–15 m wide but can be manufactured to the width of up to 50 m. Wider nets are preferred because of reduced installation costs.
You can determine a net’s best width by converting the mesh size in millimeters to meters. For instance, a quad net with 12 mm mesh is best hung using a 12 m wide net.
You position the doors for your access. The doors can be a simple curtain drop of the net. It can also be a hinged-gate of a metal frame covered with the net material.
However, always keep yourself abreast of the changes in the industry.
Because net manufacturers change their ranges of products from time to time depending on growers’ needs and technological advances.
So you are advised to contact manufacturers or retailers to discuss the product ranges before you determine the net that suits you.
2.7 Consideration Before Buying Your Agriculture Protection Netting
When you go to buy agriculture protection netting, you should keep in mind a few things. Select your net by pest or damage and by crop type:
Other considerations include:
- Weight: Take a look at the weight. It is listed in grams per square meter. It is an indicator of durability. This is useful when selecting from different covers.
- Thickness: The thickness is shown in millimeters. It varies from 0.1 – 0.2 mm. The thicker covers have more strength.
- UV: you should check whether your netting is UV stabilized. If your netting is not UV resistant, it may degrade in a short time.
- Size: When you’re buying a cover, take note of the size and area coverage for your application.
- Color: The covers come in a wide range of colors to suit your needs. Just go for your preferred color.
And don’t forget a quick check on your whether seller online, wholesaler or distributor.
Does he meet the following:
- The agriculture protection netting is made of eco-friendly material
- The manufacturer has a rich experience of making covers.
- The netting is made from cutting edge technology and is of high quality
Chapter 3: Installation Accessories
Some accessories for your agriculture protection netting
To install agriculture protection netting correctly, you need a few aids depending on your situation. The necessary accessories include the following:
3.1 Pole Caps
The caps are placed on top of concrete or steel poles. The pole caps fix and support the ropes or the wires for installing the net. They protect the poles from damage and save time for installation. The caps come in the three types
- Concrete pole caps
- Wooden pole caps
- Simple wooden cover caps
3.2 Net Fasteners
The fasteners are used to fix nets and ropes. They include all kinds of plastic clips. They are a quick, simple, and safe way of attaching netting. Some examples include
- Net connecting pins are used for fixing the net in the middle
- Flat plate for fixing the lateral net
- Shade cloth for connecting nets and to fix net gaps
They are made up of four pieces we call 4in 1 inch and the hard serrations hold the edge of the mesh firmly.
They are for fast opening and locking of the net, sustain the load of hail and maximum load is 100 to 125 kg
3.3 Net Fixings
The fixing depends on the size of the net, installation costs, the surface being fixed to, and time:
- Net fixing pegs are used to close the edges of the net.
- The polyester wire is used for stretching the net on the transversal rope. Help in net rolling without damage.
Chapter 4: Installation Methods
Netting on frames using a hoop applicator – Picture from To net or not to net 3rd edition By Peter Rigden
Step 1: Decide on the Types of Netting Systems
You have an option to select from the three main netting systems depending on your farm and what you want to protect. Take into account the difficulties associated with topography, farm layout, and your cop size.
- Full canopy netting—The net is held by a rigid structure of timber or metal poles and tensioned cables over the entire orchard. It is a permanent structure. Some of its advantages include:
- It will give total protection against birds and bats
- it has no annual cost because it is permanent
- It does not obstruct harvesters
- It modifies microclimate
- Tunnel netting – several frames are connected by wires. The wires are placed at intervals along the row to support the netting. The netting is placed on the frame when the fruit nears ripening and is taken away after harvest.
- Suitable to closely spaced crops
- Netting is pegged to the ground
- Harvesting is slower
- Zero effect on microclimate
If you want to erect tunnel netting, you can choose from three types of frames to support your nets from the plants. The first choice is the hoop frame. This is made from poly pipe hoops and wires are between hoops to stop sagging. The movement of nets over pipes does not cause damage
The second choice is the coathanger system. This makes use of a lightweight metal frame shaped like a coathanger and held above the canopy on a single wooden or metal pole. The wires between the frames hold the net away from the canopy
Lastly, you can choose a single pole and wireframe. This is a single pole with wire above the canopy and holds the net above the canopy with net resting against the sides of the trees. The fruit touching the sides of the nets can be damaged
- Drape Net
- The net sections are thrown over individual trees or rows near ripening
- You can net the trees up to 3 meter high
- If your trees are taller than 3 meters use a cherry picker or tractor.
How Do You Plan for Canopy Netting?
You can get contractors to provide a complete design and construction service.
If you undertake full canopy net construction by yourself, we advise you to obtain professional advice before construction.
Here are the main considerations when planning for installation.
Size and Quality of the Poles
As your structure will be subject to storms, use good quality poles. The recommended one is galvanized or steel poles.
You should also ensure you imbed perimeter poles and anchors in the ground and use lighter internal poles. Internal poles are placed under every second grid wire junction.
Perimeter poles should have a small end diameter of 200 mm.
Internal poles should have a small end diameter of 150 mm
Type of Anchor and Position
There are five possible anchor types:
- Simple end post
- Compression-braced end stay
- Tension-braced end post
- Boxed end stay
- Buried log or deadman
Although the boxed end stay is the best, it is not used because of cost. The most common is the tension braced end post.
Wires and Cables
You should use a high-tensile wire with a minimum of 3.15 mm.
Select the 6.1 mm or 7.5 mm cable for the main grid between poles and guy wires with a single strand. Where cable is used, span widths and lengths can be increased and this offsets the higher cost of the cable compared to wire.
The size chosen is dependent on the carrying load. Load weights include initial tension plus net weight as well as any load created by hail, wind, or rain and contraction associated with temperature changes.
Guy wires that run from perimeter posts to anchors should be a double strand of the wire or cable used for the grid.
Always exercise care when handling wire to ensure the galvanized coating is not scratched or removed.
You should plan for at least 8m between the outer edge of the trees and the boundary. This leaves room for machinery movement within the netting structure of anchors and tensioning cables.
Height of the Structure
This depends on the intended tree height, clearance required between the canopy and the net after pruning to allow for regrowth. A sag of 10 cm per 17 m is acceptable.
A good clearance of the net above the trees can help minimize the impact of the net on the orchard microclimate. Structure heights range from as little as 3.6 m (for an open vase–pruned stone fruit) up to 8 m (in lychee orchards).
Step 2: How to Set Up a Netting Structure
You should follow these steps to construct your netting structure
- You should erect poles and anchors. Imbed corner and perimeter poles 1-1.5 m in the ground and anchors 1. 1.5 m. Depending on your soils you may need anti-sink pads in the holes.
- To the firm, erect wire grid, and tension.
- Weave a net wire through the net selvage. The net does not need to be widened to do this.
- Position the bunched panels of net up onto the wire grid
- Affix the net wire to the perimeter wires at both ends.
- Use hooks or another fastener to hold the support wires of the grid close to the net wires.
- Tension the net wires too firmly.
- Clip net wires to the support wires.
- Set the sidewall net panels in place.
- Tension net and support wires to their correct tension
- Intertwine net to right angle grid wires for extra strength.
How to Construct Coat hanger
In case you want to construct a coat hanger follow the following steps
- Select wood or steel material for the coat hanger. Take care the frame needs to be smooth to avoid tearing
- The frame size will depend on treewidth and height. Ensure the distance between coathanger frames is less than 25 m.
- Cover the ends of rough surfaces that will touch the net with rubber.
- Assemble the frames in the tree row and position the poles in line with the tree trunks. Place the pole in a 1 m deep hole in the ground and backfill.
- Run strands of fencing wire between the frames to support the net. One wire on the top of the frame and one at the end of each arm, and two along the ground on either side of the tree row. Drill holes through the frame to take the wires.
- At the end of each row, tie back the wires running through the hoops to an anchor post
- Slide nets over the top of the coathanger and wires joining the frames using sticks. Pull the net under the wires on the ground on either side of the row and either tie the net to the wires.
- Lastly, where necessary close the net from top to bottom at the end of the row.
Chapter 5: Tips for Your Netting
Dos and Don’ts
Keep in mind the following tips when installing your netting.
- Don’t believe all netting is the same
Nettings vary in weights, sizes, weights, and materials. Before you purchase, ensure you choose suitable netting for your needs. If you know what you want to achieve you will be able to determine the type of netting for you.
- Make Installation on a windy day
It is almost impossible to install netting on windy days. The thin nets can entangle if not handled properly. Just wait till it becomes calm.
- Expect a long term fix
While netting will serve your purpose, don’t expect the fix to last forever. With time, netting will degrade and leave holes or gaps. For long-lasting results, you should be prepared for regular maintenance.
Before you start the process of acquiring your netting, research the best type of netting for your needs. Consider the types of netting, weights, sizes, and equipment needed to install. When you’ve found the good type, shop around for manufacturer of quality products.
- Stay organized
Stay organized when you begin installing your bird netting. First stretch out the netting to full size. Then find the corners and determine which side is up. This will minimize tangles and will make the process manageable.
- Leave access
Always remember to make an access hole for your harvest. you’ll need to tend or pick your plants. Ensure an opening large enough for you to access the crop you are harvesting.
Chapter 6: Global Scenario and Market Trends for Netting
The global agriculture netting market is projected to register an improved CAGR of 5% from 2020 to 2030. This is because of
- Increasing interest in agriculture to raise the use of agriculture nets
- Use of agriculture nets in other areas such as aquaculture and livestock to create new revenue streams
- Self-sufficiency food initiatives to improve sales of agriculture nets
The Pacific and South Asia control the global agriculture net market. This is because their economies are reliant and based on agriculture. Agriculture continues to be based on preserving crops and livestock – from pesticides to sheltering the crops. Hence the farmers must make the right investments in agriculture.
As the food demand increases, the future portends high demand for agriculture nets. The demand for agriculture nets is expected to increase in the coming decade as countries across the globe aim at self-sufficiency to feed their national population.
Chapter 7. FAQ for Installation and Accessories
You have evaluated the benefits of netting. But still, several questions linger on.
Get more information by reading our FAQs.
- What is the distance of the pole?
Your pole should be at a maximum distance of 10m
- How to fix the netting on the pole?
The netting on the pole is fixed by C-hooks. There are also clip locks to hold the net in place under tension.
- What‘s the size of the tension wire?
The tension wire should be a minimum of 3.15 mm.
For cables, select the 6.1 mm or 7.5 mm
- What’s the size of the pole?
Structure heights range from 3.6 m for stone fruit up to 8 m for lychee orchards.
- Do you supply the service of installation?
EyouAgro does not offer an installation service. We provide supply but can provide installation service. If you require an installation, we can refer to a list of credible recommended installers
- Can I purchase net repair materials for netting canopies?
You can purchase repair items. Call and enquire we will post out your requirements
- How can I see the quality before ordering?
Just let us know your delivery address and we’ll mail you some samples.
- How do I Select the right netting for my orchard?
Location: Different locations have varied climatic conditions like sun, hail wind, and others. These conditions will determine the size of your net and its structure.
Crop: you must choose the right net type and color for your crop.
Variety: Different fruits require different levels of shade.
Many manufacturers provide a warranty for their products.
The netting can last over 12 years.
And like many agriculture protection netting from EyouAgro, our netting comes with a 5- 8 year warranty. The warranty applies when set conditions are met.
Protecting your crop and livestock from harsh weather, insects, birds, and harmful pest is a huge task.
It requires your investment in agriculture protection netting – their purchase, installation, and maintenance. You will find protection netting useful in all your agriculture activities – fruit crops, greenhouses, and so on
We are confident that if you follow our entire agriculture protection netting installation guide 2021, your crops and livestock will continue to thrive and give you maximum yields.
We, the leading agriculture protection netting company can help you get your installation better. If you have any questions about the installation of agriculture protection, drop us an email at [email protected] or visit our website at www.eyouagro.com