During the spring and summertime, unexpected storms bring in hail.
If you plan on growing crops or getting maximum returns from your current stock, covering them with nets is rewarding.
Studies show that crop damage in 2018, caused by hail in the U.S. amounted to 87.4 million U.S. dollars.
Covering your crops is a worthy investment. It only requires you to get hail netting.
But that’s not all.
Your comprehensive knowledge of hail net to achieve high crop yield is critical.
So today, I’m taking you will learn:
- hail, its formation, and damages
- Protecting your crops
- Hail netting
- And much more
Let’s take a look!
How Does the Hail Forms?
Do you know, a large hailstone in South Dakota USA, measured 8.0 inches in diameter?
Hail is a form of precipitation. You might have seen it come in hard and rounded pieces of ice.
And what weather causes hail to develop?
The hail is formed when water drops freeze in the top atmosphere. Hailstones are then formed by water layers freezing and attaching in clouds.
Once the hailstone becomes heavy to be held within the storm updraft, the hail fall to the ground.
Most hailstones range from pea-size to golf ball size.
Hail Cause Crop Damages
The bad news is every year hail damage costs crop farmers millions of dollars.
The damage to your crops is heavy when the hail falls in spring.
At this time, your plants are flourishing and growing tender new leaves and stems.
The hail brings the following destruction to your cropland:
- Destroy seedlings
- Peel off leaves from plants
- Reduce harvests by knocking fruit off plants
- Split and broke stems on plant especially fruit trees
- Leave holes on leaves
- Ripping fruits where skins are sliced open
- Loss of buds, leaves, and tender stems
- Infection from pathogens like twig canker fungi, and bacterial and fungal agents
- Scarred and dented fruits
The sensitive crops for example potato, cauliflower, peas and many more suffer heavily from hailstorms.
All these damages will make you lose more than 20% of your crop harvest. You can even lose a whole season.
Protecting Your Crop Against Hails
The good news is crop protection textile companies have invented a solution to say goodbye to your crop hail damage!
While you can not prevent hail storms from occurring, you can reduce the risk of their destruction to your crops.
If you protect your crop, you gain the following economic advantages:
- Protection of your crop tree investment
- Safeguarding your harvest
Studies by research gate have shown that the use of anti-hail nets on your crop productions ensures quality production.
Take note that although it is big hailstones that make the news, even tiny hail can inflict serious but undetectable damage to fruit, blossoms, and leaf buds.
Besides helping to protect your crops from hails, the nets protect birds and still allow plenty of sunlight.
Now that you know the damage hail can cause, consider preventative measures to ensure your crops are set for the next hailstorm.
What is Hail Netting?
If you’re going to reap maximum returns from your crops, hail netting is your sure bet.
Hail netting is a cloth textile mesh net spread over to cover your crops. Once you cover your crops, you stand to realize the following benefits:
The net is a long-term investment. Apart from protecting against hail, the net will prevent minimize light. The net reduces light from 12 – 25%.
The reduction depends on the following:
- The row orientation
- The net is gable or flat
- Period of the year because of the angle of the sun
The reduced light influences fruit color.
You will experience the following
Reduced sunburn – Your crops will not be vulnerable to sunburn and rubbing by the wind. Take note that this causes reduced pack out and hence more returns.
Reduce the wind – The wind is reduced by about 50%. This allows the timely application of sprays.
Frost protection – studies have shown reduced frost damage in frost cases. This is because the structure of the hail net gives a setting to attach frost protection infrastructure.
Marketing benefits – you get continuity of supply in marketing. If you have hail netting, you can ensure delivery of the product at the end of the season. This is different from the marketer for the grower who is not using the net.
Buying Your Hail Netting
So, If you opt to invest in hail net, consider the following things:
- Row direction – if your land is situated on slopes ensure the rows should be in the direction of hail along the contour lines.
- Row width – Depending on your crop and cut technology consider the row width. Additionally, take the required tree height into account.
- The height of the plant and machine in use must be taken into account.
- Distance from anchorages– consider anchorage distances
After considering plant basic features, choose among the following
- Cross stabilization over the net
- Cross stabilization beneath the net
- The column made from wood or concrete
Hail Netting Accessories
After deciding to Install the hail netting, get the following accessories from EyouAgro:
Start with the fixings. The pegs to keep your hail netting safely secured. The polyester wire for trying your net. Others include a shade cloth hook for stretching the net on the rope.
Then grab the net fastening accessories. This provides points to attach your ropes, canopies, and covers. Remember the clamps to hold the canopies and nets without damaging your hail net.
Lastly the pole caps tie-downs are used to keep the cover firmly secured. This is to prevent your cover from draping off or being brown by the wind. The pole caps come in as concrete pole caps, wooden pole caps, and simple wooden cover caps.
Introducing the Hail Netting
The net is made of virgin High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). This ensures the hail net is affordable, durable, non-leaching, and can withstand harsh weather.
It is also waterproof, thanks to its lamination with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) on both sides.
So, what’s so special about it?
The net material is UV stabilized. The UV stabilized netting helps you protect your crop from the extreme sun.
The hail net is made of woven fabric and a strong monofilament that provides extra strength. The weaving prevents unraveling when cut.
But is net material as environmentally friendly as well?
Sure! The material is recyclable. EyouAgro ensures the net will have no lasting impact on the environment.
The net is made to customizable sizes to suit your needs.
You can install hail netting on hoops, arches, and other frames to support netting above your crop plants.
You can also drape directly on grapevines, blueberry bushes, fruit trees, and vegetable row crops.
The hail net can be installed under the following system:
- Tunnels that cover multiple rows
- Cable-and-pole tent-like structures that cover individual rows
- Retractable-roof greenhouse-like structures that cover entire orchards
Once you have the support structure, just unroll the net. If you are using last year’s hail net, ensure you untangle it. You will see It unfold easily.
Types and Cost of Hail Netting
The hail net is either raschel hail netting or leno woven. The Raschel comprises crossover and triangular mesh patterns. The crop growers have the following choices:
- Raschel quad crossover knitted hail netting – provides an advanced degree of hail protection.
- Raschel drape hail netting – are used for the protection of fruit trees for example apples, pears, and grapes
- Leno woven hail netting– the weave provides the fabric with low elasticity and guarantees its functionality.
The cost depends on the type of hail netting. The estimated cost of typical net ranges from $40 000 – $50 000 per hectare.
Hail Netting and Improvements of your Returns
Investment in hail net increases the proportion of first-grade pack out. The secondary benefits of reduced sunburn and blemish caused by wind also come in.
The financial justification for the price of the hail netting system, the yield, and market prices affect the viability of the hail net investment.
It is found that a 10% improvement in pack out whether it be due to a reduction in hail-affected fruit or due to reduced sunburn.
Hail netting is a long-term investment. The net can last over 12 years. And like many crop protection textiles from EyouAgro, hail netting comes with a 5-year warranty. However, the warranty only applies when some set conditions are met.
As you can see, there are plenty of crop protection textiles innovations that could help you in hail prevention.
Hail showers are unexpected weather. It should not stress you. You need to take action to prevent your crop.
EyouAgro netting is designed to fit your needs. They are easy to install, economical, high quality, and customized.
EyouAgro has innovation, research resources, and cutting-edge technologies that offer maximum solutions for its clients.