Peaches and apricots, protection from hail and insects with Arrigoni screens

19 maj 2020

The second part of spring and the summer season are decisive for estimating the yield of almost the entire fruit year. Cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, and almonds are some examples of the most common stone fruit that will be harvested in a few weeks.
On the eve of these fundamental moments for the agricultural year, there are many variables that come into play to obtain excellent production. Among these, pest control certainly plays a fundamental role, primarily from the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). Then, protection from extreme weather events, often unpredictable.
It is to these problems that Arrigoni, the leading international company in the technical textile sector for agriculture, aims to respond, offering particularly versatile solutions, which meet the needs of those who grow stone fruit and other fruits such as kiwi.

From a climatic point of view, in fact, the trend of 2019 highlights how much the so-called "extreme events", ie storms, hailstorms, droughts, heat waves, are increasingly frequent. According to the annual Legambiente report, over 500 extreme phenomena have occurred in the last ten years, which have also caused damage to crop.

Arrigoni responds to these problems with IRIDE®, an effective range of anti-frost and hail-proof agrotextiles, run-proof because they are made with knitted monofilament. The range offers nets ideal for covering tunnels, greenhouses, and orchards, which can be installed with pulleys and suitable for various opening systems.

Regarding hail, the installations for the protection of orchards are divided into two types, depending on the distances between the plants to be covered, the soil and other important variables. In fact, we speak of the "Flat System" and the "Roof-style System". In the "Flat System" structure, the nets are installed almost horizontally to allow the passage of the machines without difficulty. It is the most economical type of system, also for its ease of installation. The "Roof-style System", on the other hand, was the first anti-hail system used to protect plants. The nets are installed on a slope to facilitate the discharge of hail and consequently avoid dangerous accumulations that could compromise the stability of the structure.

In addition to the hostile climatic conditions, a further concern for stone fruit growers is insects, first of all the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). This very invasive species, which turns 2 generations a year, does not have natural predators as in the places of origin. During sucking, it releases toxins inside the fruit that cause deformation and internal suberification, making it in fact no longer marketable. To meet this need, Arrigoni has developed a specific version of the IRIDE® range, or IRIDE Multi Pro®.

The right size of the hole, the dense mesh and the strength of this net are the characteristics that make it impenetrable from the harmful Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

Other parasitic threats to stone fruit are Drosophila Suzukii and Ceratitis. Even in these cases, it is increasingly evident that, to date, only plant chemical protection products are not enough to ensure good and healthy protection of the plant. The high pressure of the insect, with repeated cycles that continue even on fully ripe fruit, makes chemical control impossible, because this would mean using insecticides up to a few days before harvest.

The alternative of attractive traps for mass capture is a very effective method for monitoring, but not for example for the killing of Drosophila populations. The most suitable solution in the Arrigoni range to protect the plant from these pests is BIORETE®. In its various densities, it is a HDPE insect screen specially designed according to the size of the insects that we want to repel, including Drosophila and Ceratitis, which could potentially cause various damages on stone fruit and kiwi farms. The Air Plus version also allows you to increase the passage of air by up to 20% more.

“Several studies confirm that we must live more and more with climate change – comments Paolo Arrigoni, CEO of Arrigoni – and for this reason our company is also developing increasingly targeted proposals. At the same time, we must not forget the whole chapter of parasitic insects, which can damage the work of years. For this reason, today we are able to offer integrated solutions that respond promptly and effectively to the needs of agriculture professionals."

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