A new cherry protection system, which the manufacturers claim can be opened and closed in minutes, is heading to European orchards having been successfully used in Chile.
Wayki Solutions says that a single worker can cover, or remove, on hectare in just 20 minutes, much less time than is required with most other systems, including automated ones. The system uses a normal hand drill to turn the winding mechanism, which in turn opens and closes the covers, which sit above the existing orchard poles.
Cristián Lopez of Wayki Europe said, “Around the world, we are experiencing more and more severe and unexpected weather conditions. This has serious implications for the fruit business as it raises the possibility of events including rain and hail damaging fruit, and high winds damaging growing infrastructure such as poles and cables. Wayki is a very exciting development because it gives growers the control to cover and uncover their orchards and vineyards in a matter of minutes in response to these events.”
As well as cherries, the company believes that the cover system may have applications for crops including blueberries, apples and other soft fruit, and different types of cover can be fitted.
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