Aug 27, 2019Arrigoni develops Protecta Ultra screen for stone fruit operations
Cultivation of cherries, kiwifruit, berry fruits or other stone fruits is one of the most complex, considering their sensitivity not only to insect pest and bird attack but also to cracking and fruit rot in conditions of excessive rainfall and unpredictable weather patterns at ripening time.
Further proof that the ongoing climate change deserves serious consideration from farming professionals was provided by the last summer in the southern hemisphere, where record temperatures (in Australia, for example) were followed by torrential rain, leading to floods described as “unprecedented” by local authorities, especially in Queensland.
Arrigoni, a Como, Italy-based designer and producer of agrotextiles for farming, has developed eco-sustainable solutions capable of effectively reducing potential damage from both unfavorable weather conditions and insect pests. Chief amongst them is the new, even higher-performing Protecta Ultra screen.
This new covering system is a multifunction protective screen which ensures a good harvest of quality fruit.
“This innovative screen,” said Arrigoni agronomist Milena Poledica, “combines anti-hail, wind and frost protection with rain control.“
Prtoecta Ultra is densely woven in high-tenacity monofilament Arlene Diamond and is therefore intrinsically resistant to hail. The special rhomboidal design of Diamond monofilament reduces the screen’s 3D hole size, significantly increasing the level of rain control and maintaining air flow. The monofilament structure also contains special additives which increase its lifetime more than threefold (120 months) compared to conventional plastic film (36 months).
This extended durability reduces production costs, especially in anti-rain systems combined with insect protection screens: replacing plastic films is an expensive procedure, which also requires a considerable amount of time for installation, positioning, stretching, etc. The screen’s porosity increases ventilation and air flow, for the rapid elimination of humidity from protected areas. At the same time, this porosity combined with the installation method used ensures excellent wind stability.
Installed properly, Protecta Ultra screen can offer a very high percentage of rain control (up to 95%), since the very dense screen structure is an effective barrier against raindrops. What’s more, the slip additive in the screen structure helps easily drainage of water from the textile surface, even during particularly heavy rainfall (60mm/h). The moderate shading factor and light diffusion properties of the monofilament provide soft light that protects crops from sunburn and positively affects fruit’s ripening, uniform coloring and taste.
For crops grown in hotter climates, Arrigoni offers Protecta Grey screen, with black monofilament in weft and shading factor of 40% and above
The Proteca rain cover system can be completed at the sides with various types of Biorette screens, which defend crops against insect pest damage. The new line of Biorette Air Plus insect screens offers increased air flow to further improve growing conditions.
Arrigoni’s innovative technological solutions are suited to the individual needs of growers of all kinds, improving orchard yields and reducing production costs.