How CCA pressure-treated poles from Sabie Poles can help the Farmers to protect their orchards.

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CCA pressure-treated poles is a must for each orchard farmer. Driving in the Schoemanskloof area you will notice the orange and naartjie orchards next to the road.  Orchards are immaculately kept by the farmers!  Really something to experience!

High shade netting supported by CCA pressure-treated poles and anchored to the ground by steel cables make the rows look even and straight – perfect pictures, a reflection of neatness and care towards nature and protection for the trees that will bear fruit in the winter season

While the cost of setting up the right netting can be significant in the beginning, by choosing the correct netting and CCA pressure-treated poles for your environment, the long-term costs are lowered as little maintenance is required and the yield should exceed the costs in a couple of years.

Another thing to bear in mind is that your netting poles will anchor the entire structure and thus you should use good quality CCA pressure-treated poles are essential for ensuring the integrity of the structure. To create the most secure structure, the best option is to place netting poles in a diamond pattern, spaced between 12 and 16 meters in each row with wires running in between to support the netting. For hail nets, it is necessary to also create sections where the hail can fall through, while hail nets will also require a stronger material than netting used for shade. When determining the length of your netting poles it is essential to also leave around a 1-meter space above your fruit for bee activity. It is also essential that nets are properly tensioned and attached to their poles as the excess wind can cause rubbing against poles and wires and lead to your nets wearing prematurely.

Hail storms will cause a catastrophe to crops, fruit trees, and farmers’ orchards.

It can destroy the plants in a few minutes. Hence, hail netting is a necessity for farmers and owners of the orchard where hail frequently attacks.   Hail netting is the most efficient protection system for the plants, which can ensure a continuity of production over time.

What is hail netting?

Hail netting is the most efficient protection system for plants.

The hail netting is made of polyethylene monofilament, which is UV stabilized and durable. The hail netting can prevent the hail from damaging the plants and ensure the harvests.  With proper care, the nets should last 10 to 15 years. Drape Net is available in black or white, with black used for green varieties and white for colored ones.

When erecting hail netting over a large area ensure that sturdy CCA pressure-treated Poles are used.

It is advisable to get people who have the experience to assist you in choosing the correct thickness – lengths etc when buying your CCA pressure-treated poles for netting your orchard!  Our staff at Sabie Poles are eager to assist all farmers with questions regarding poles for your netting requirements.

When deciding which type of netting you will need for the orchard, here is some information regarding netting that might help!

Orchard netting

Two types of netting systems are commonly used by growers:

1. Full canopy netting—The net is held permanently by a rigid structure of CCA pressure-treated poles and tensioned cables over the entire orchard.

2. Tunnel netting—A series of light frames connected by wires are erected at intervals along the row

To support the net and hold it away from the tree. The nets are placed over the frame only when the fruit approaches maturity and are taken down after harvest.

Once the decision is made on which kind of netting structure you will use you need to learn more about the CCA pressure-treated poles that you will require. 

What Pole size and quality will you need for a Full canopy netting?

As the structure will be subject to storms (and possibly cyclones), use good quality poles. Poles that are CCA-pressure treated to H3 standard are preferred.

The general practice is to imbed perimeter poles and anchors in the ground and use lighter internal poles, which are often not embedded. Internal poles are generally placed under every second grid wire junction.

Where the soil is soft, use anti-sink pads to prevent poles from sinking into the soil. Perimeter CCA pressure-treated poles should have a small end diameter (SED) of 200 mm. Internal poles should have a SED of 150 mm.

Dimensions of poles from Sabie Poles vary from 50mm to 224mm diameter, and from 1,0m to 15m long.  These poles are all CCA pressure treated.  See our price list on www.sabiepoles.co.za

To secure your netting over a vast area you need to anchor the poles well.  

There are five possible anchor types:

  1.  simple end post
  2.  compression-braced end stay
  3.  tension-braced end post
  4.  boxed end stay
  5.  buried log or deadman

The boundary needs to be built with 200mm dimension CCA pressure-treated poles, and the insides of your netting area can be of smaller diameter – depending on the height your orchard is – or will be when trees reach matured heights). 

What are the advantages of CCA pressure-treated Poles?

Here are the 7 Reasons why Wood poles are still popular and widely used when erecting netting over orchards across the world.

  1.   because of their high strength per unit weight,
  2.   low installation and maintenance costs,
  3.   excellent durability when they are properly treated with wood preservatives
  4.   Easy to handle
  5.   Less expensive than Steel or concrete
  6. Readily available from accredited suppliers. (like Sabie Poles)  www.sabiepoles.co.za
  7. Strong but flexible

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Why not use steel for your netting structures? 

Interesting advantages of steel poles

The advantages of steel poles include:

  1.  design flexibility
  2.  high strength
  3. relatively light weight
  4.  long life
  5.  factory pre-drilling
  6.  reduced maintenance costs
  7.  predictability and enhanced reliability
  8.  no damage due to woodpeckers, pole rot, (when you use untreated poles), or fires, no catastrophic or domino effect failures, aesthetically .

Will Concrete poles not be a better option than CCA pressure-treated poles?

Wood is strong but flexible, while concrete is more rigid. In high winds, CCA pressure-treated wooden poles will flex and bend, while concrete is more likely to crack. Wooden poles are cheaper to produce than concrete.  On the other hand, concrete poles do not sustain the kind of damage that wooden ones do and can be easier to repair.

During these difficult economic times that we live in,  the less expensive option will always weigh heavier when it is decision time for the farmer!

Yes, We Export Timber To: Europe, Middle East and all the SADC countries

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Why is it important for to cover their orchards?
  1.  Nets protect orchards and fruits from a range of harsh weather conditions, including extreme temperatures, harsh sunlight and frost or hail.
  2.  One of the biggest advantages to using shade nets is that sunburn on fruit is greatly reduced.
  3.  Air temperatures can be reduced through the use of shade netting which in turn leads to a decreased temperature for the fruit and leaves themselves and a decrease in soil temperature.
  4. Lower temperatures allow plants to transpire at a natural rate, taking up nutrients throughout the day, rather than during specific times of the day.
  5.  Nets also help to protect fruit from damage caused by birds, resulting in better quality of fruit and larger and more uniform products.
  6.  Due to less damage, fruit will also need less preparation and this also helps to reduce labour costs.
  7.  Nets can act as windbreaks, reducing the wind speed through an orchard by up to 50% and greatly reducing wind damage to crops.
  8.  Pest and disease management are one of the main drivers for using agricultural netting, however snails can become a factor due to the reduced presence of birds.
  9.  Weaker orchards can fare better under nets as growth is more vigorous due to an increase in the number and length of shoots owing to higher humidity levels under the net and reduced climatic stress.
  10.  Less water is used due to less evaporation while drip irrigation is also easier under netting. For some farmers this has resulted in a higher yield while using 40% less water.
  11.  Due to a netting changing the micro-climate beneath the nets, this form of agriculture can help to grow citrus crops on poorer soil

Traveling next to many hectares covered with netting – made me realize the number of effort farmers takes in providing us with undamaged fruit!  At Sabie Poles, we strive to assist farmers (being farmers ourselves) with their CCA pressure-treated Poles for their netting structure to the best of our ability.

Hats off to the farmers!

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