Anti-hail nets can be a lifesaver for fruit growers but that doesn’t mean they will be effective in every storm. Whether it be through an excess load of hail accumulating on the net or stones coming through the gaps and damaging fruit anyway, the technology is by no means foolproof. In steps Czech company Krodes, with its Stripex products that connect netting structures with clip or zip fasteners.“After we started producing anti-hail nets and plastic components, for this year we have this new technology patented,” the company’s Michal Nedbal told www.freshfruitportal.com during apple industry event Interpoma late last month.
He said normally a standard system would allow the nets to catch the hail, and have openings for the hail to drop to the orchard floor so the structure doesn’t collapse.
“This is a problem because when you have an opening between the nets, if there’s too much hail it comes through and hits the tree and the fruit,” Nedbal said.
“With a Stripex system, the hail falls down the middle rather than going off to the sides,” he said, adding the system was available with clamps or a zip fastener which a bit more expensive.
He said another benefit of the product was it didn’t require setting up new anti-hail nets.
“When you have problems with the zipper on the hail nets you must completely take one row out and install again, but here it’s possible because there are connections with the plastic pockets – you only have to open the bad parts, change and install. Repairing doesn’t cost too much money.
“This technology is possible for people who already have an anti-hail system in place.”
He said the company had a presence with its manufactured components all around the EU, as well as Switzerland, Albania, Russia and Uzbekistan.