With the arrival of specialised fruit growing and modern training systems, you could say that you cannot get high-quality produce without rain-proof covers.
In fact, rain is a dangerous foe for small fruits (cherries, raspberries, currants, etc). Water inevitably causes the fruit to crack and therefore makes it unsellable.
Rain-proof covers must be kept open in orchards when the fruit begins to change colour (veraison) until the harvest is finished. During this time, rain-proof covers also help protect against hail.
Leaving the cover open for longer can lead to the following problems:
• It creates a microclimate that is not completely suitable for the plants and can encourage swarms of red spider mites and eriophyid mites.
• It reduces light and can therefore have a negative impact on the quality of the buds, while leading to overgrowth of vegetation and the death of less exposed parts of the branch and shoots.
This cover lets you leave the product on the plant until it is perfectly ripe, which produces fruit that looks, feels, smells and tastes great in an excellent size, with the following advantages:
• Immediate benefits, with the increased size, picking and sorting costs are reduced (meaning that sellable or defective products do not have to be selected in the field, which is a very time-consuming task).
• Medium-long term benefits, because an evenly ripe, healthy product is going to be more commercially popular.
• Product shelf life (a healthy product can be stored for longer and therefore sold at more profitable times).
This system was designed by our company following years of studying covers, always in close contact with the farming sector.
We can sum up its key features in 4 concepts:
1. Flat: The system is completely flat, which leads to many advantages: there are no obstructions whatsoever while the mechanical equipment is passing under the covers, while the wind can flow more naturally, causing minimal friction on the cover.
2. Secure: The covers are kept taut by a special system called the “Sospensor”. This helps keep the structure very stretchy, especially when under strain from the weather, such as the wind, strong storms, etc. No completely hard parts.
3. Versatile: There are no problems with slopes, row directions and widths, the Pilati system is suitable for any terrain and crops!
4. Fast: The covers are extremely quick to open (2.5 h/hectare over standard terrain) thanks to an innovative cover fastening system.
They take slightly longer to close, but the times are still in line with traditional cover systems.
We have recently developed rain-proof cover systems that are useful for combating a virulent bacteria that attacks the kiwi (PSA).
Recent research has shown the benefits of rain-proof systems which, in particular, prevent water from touching the trunk of the kiwi plant and parts of the surrounding soil. This ensures that there is a much lower level of moisture, which is extremely beneficial.