The primary sector of tropical and sub-tropical countries is now booming and, alongside more traditional crops, the production of pomegranate and berry fruits (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry) is also strongly developing. However, farmers in these countries must increasingly face sudden and violent climate changes, with often unpredictable consequences, due to the progressive rise in temperatures at global level. Arrigoni, a leading company in the production of agrotexiles, has given impetus to the practical Net House system, a hybrid solution between greenhouse and open field, which offers both agronomic advantages, with better temperature control, and savings too, with a significant reduction in installation costs compared to greenhouses. For warmer and more unstable climates, the most effective solution is ROBUXTA®, designed precisely for use on tensile structures (such as Net Houses) and thanks to its resistance to abrasion.
Climate change is now a reality with which all agricultural areas of the planet have to deal, regardless of latitude and crops. The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Special Report on Global Warming has shown that if temperature continues to rise at its current rate, global warming is likely to reach 1.5 °C between 2030 and 2052. This means, for agriculture, increasingly difficult challenges to face, in every part of the world.
With its experience in the manufacture of 100% green and sustainable solutions for agricultural professionals, Arrigoni offers a wide range of solutions even for the most critical areas for cultivation. In the tropical and sub-tropical belt, it becomes now possible, therefore, to produce valuable crops, such as berry fruits, pomegranate, and more.
One of the smartest solutions is undoubtedly the Net House, a system that provides a more sustainable and effective approach to cultivating and to which several agrotextile screens proposed by Arrigoni perfectly adapt. Depending on the cultivation needs and the fabric of which it is composed, under Net House, in fact, the need for plant protection products can be reduced and at the same time it mitigates the negative effect of bad weather, such as hail, strong wind and excessive insolation. In other words, it is versatile and a compromise solution between open field and greenhouse production, which can offer many advantages over both, such as lower installation costs on the one hand and more comfortable climatic conditions for plant development on the other.
For the installation of Net House, moreover, it is possible to use different innovative agrotextiles among those proposed by Arrigoni, depending on the cultivation needs and the climatic zone in which it operates. Among the ideal solutions for the tropical and sub-tropical belt there is ROBUXTA®, a thermo-reflective screen characterized by high resistance to abrasion, thanks to the additional monofilament that protects the weft tape and prevents the latter from touching the cables of the structure, avoiding damage. Thanks to the additive LD-Light Diffusion in the tape, this fabric increases water savings by up to 30% and, at the same time, offers high temperature reduction and ensures the diffusion of light, useful for plant photosynthesis.
Tests in the field of the effectiveness of a Net House entirely made with ROBUXTA® have already been carried out recently in South Africa, at a blueberry production location. At the external temperature of 34°C, corresponded a 28°C leaf temperature below the cover. Plant growth has also proven to be regular and uniform for all areas of the parcel, unlike what normally happens in polytunnels, where side rows suffer from high temperatures. The only factor to consider is that, within those Net Houses, the plant cycle is longer, so an early transplant at 2 – 3 weeks before standard planting is recommended, to achieve the necessary growth at the time of the best market prices.
Milena Poledica, agronomist from Arrigoni, notes: "The challenge that global climate change poses to producers is increasingly complex and must be faced with the best technologies. At Arrigoni we have manufactured and tested solutions in the field that demonstrate great effectiveness even in some of the most demanding areas of the planet from an agricultural point of view, such as tropical and sub-tropical ones. In this way it becomes possible, globally, to introduce crops with high commercial value, which would normally be very difficult to obtain".
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