Frost protection: up to 4 degrees more with Arrigoni’s Protecta®
- This screen, and other solutions that increase temperature and reduce night-day temperature gradients, will be presented with the new tests on stand B30, hall 6.1 at Fruit Logistica
18.01.2023 – ENGLISH
With the changes to the climate seen in recent years, the problem of late frosts in orchards and vineyards, which can potentially wipe out a whole crop even in early spring, is becoming more and more pressing. There are various solutions for overcoming situations of this kind, depending on geographical area, and Arrigoni will be exhibiting them with the Group’s other products on stand B30 hall 6.1 at Fruit Logistica, the international fruit and vegetable show to be held in Berlin from 8 to 10 February this year.
In 2021, the Italian Government paid out 52.3 million Euros in frost damage compensation. If this is added to the figure for 2020, the total rises to 65 million Euros (source: Conferenza Stato – Regioni [Conference of Italian Central and Regional Governments]). In other words, this is a genuine emergency, which is occurring more and more often due to ongoing climate change.
“In general terms,” comments CEO Paolo Arrigoni, “agrotextiles provide physical protection against a variety of threats (birds, hail, insects, excessive UV radiation, rain, etc.) and modify the growing environment (humidity, shade, temperature), also protecting it from frost. Specifically, the net acts like a blanket: it traps the frost on its surface and holds in the heat which the ground accumulates during the day and gives out at night, while in the daytime it reduces crop heating. This means that the net maintains a more balanced temperature, preventing harmful thermal shocks between day and night and increasing the night-time temperature”.
Specifically, first and foremost Arrigoni offers Protecta®, a textile solution that supplies a thermal effect, air exchange and high strength, with the added benefit of performing particularly well even in windy areas. A field test conducted by the company in the UK in February 2022 yielded objective results: compared to the open field, the temperature inside the Protecta® screens was at least 2 degrees higher during the night and 4 degrees during the day. What’s more, its very dense weave also provides excellent protection against rain and frost, while still enabling a calibrated air flow, optimal for crop growth. Moreover, according to data from the same tests there are no significant changes in air humidity compared to the open field: the figure is increased by 2% due to the higher air temperature inside the screens.
Robuxta® LDF Light Diffusion Screen is an alternative for maintaining a favourable environment for plants’ growth through the temperate climate zone. In fact, during the winter months this protection increases crops’ resistance to low temperatures and also prevents frost damage. The LDF light diffusion additive disperses waves of luminous radiation, improves light conditions in the protected area and prevents scorching.
Other Arrigoni frost-protection solutions include Iride® Multi Pro Extra, with small holes which keep the ice on the surface of the net, and Fructus®, an inelastic screen which enables good tension levels even over long distances.
“In view of the changes in the climate in the last few years,” concludes Paolo Arrigoni, CEO of Arrigoni S.p.A., “scientific research into frost control by means of nets has recently become very intense. Our solutions place us a step ahead in a problem of pressing current interest and we already provide effective answers for orchards and vineyards for light and moderate events, with temperatures as low as -5 or -7 degrees centigrade in the open field.”