Insect Net

Insect Net

A Background to Insect Nets

Insect net was first used commercially in the UK in 1994 to control Cabbage Root Fly on organic leafy brassicas. The net provides a physical barrier that the insects cannot penetrate but it allows through approximately 90% of natural light and rain and 75% of natural airflow which creates an ideal protected micro climate for the crop to grow in.

Insect nets only increase temperature by 2 to 30C but they give the crop a significant level of shelter from wind, rain and hail which boost growth. They also give protection to other pests such as birds, rabbits and deer.

In 2003 Birlaine an organophosphate insecticide used on swede to control cabbage root fly was banned which created a major problem for UK growers. Other methods of control were tested but they were dependant on weather conditions and moisture levels. Insect net was proven to be by far the most effective way to control Cabbage Root Fly. Creating a physical barrier it worked regardless of temperature, moisture levels and the proximity of the field to other susceptible crops and pests.

Crop quality and tonnes packed per Ha are hugely increased by using net and in some instances the increase was by as much as 40%.

During the past 12 years we have seen a huge increase in the use of insect net on many other crops such as baby leaf, cabbage, radish, spring greens and organics.

Specification

Our insect nets are made out of High Density Polyethylene HDPE which contains UV inhibitors to protect them from sunlight which stops them degrading and becoming brittle.

We expect our insect nets to perform well for 8 - 10 years. These nets will last for at least 15 years but as they get older and with normal wear and tear the level of insect control is greatly reduced.  At the end of their useful life they can be recycled.

Our wider nets are joined together using our unique 4 layer double stitched seams making them the strongest nets on the market. We developed our own industrial sewing thread to make sure it would outlast the nets and be resistant to most pesticides and fertilisers. Our oldest nets have been is use for 14 years which is testimony to their quality and strength.

Insect Net Mesh Sizes

Net
Mesh Size
Grams per m2
Shade Value

1.3mm Insect Net
1.3mm x 1.3mm
65g
11%

0.8mm Insect Net
0.8mm x 0.8mm
70g
12%

0.6mm Insect Net
0.6mm x 0.6mm
45g
14%

0.3mm Insect Net
0.3mm x 0.3mm
55g
15%

Recommended mesh sizes for different insects:

Insect
1.3mm
0.8mm
0.6mm
0.3mm

Aphid
-
-
yes
yes

Cabbage Root Fly 
yes
yes
-
-

Cabbage White Butterfly 
yes
-
-
-

Carrot Root Fly 
yes
yes
-
-

Flea Beetle 
-
yes
-
-

Leaf Miner 
-
yes
-
-

Organics
-
yes
yes
-

Swede Midge 
-
yes
-
-

Turnip Root Fly 
yes
yes
-
-

White Fly 
-
-
yes
yes

Spotted Winged Drosophila 
-
yes
yes
-

Insect Net Roll Sizes

 

Standard widths are 3.65m, 13m and 25m

Other widths available to order depending on quantity include:
7.2m, 13.6m, 14m, 15m, 16.5m, 17.75m, 18m, 20.5m, 21.25,m, 26m, 27m, 28m and 37m

 

Standard lengths are 50m, 100m and 200m

Lead Times for Insect Nets

We carry a large range of stock but most of our nets are made to order.

Lead times vary from 10 to 25 weeks depending on mesh size and time of year.

It is vital to plan ahead and order your nets at least 4 months before you need them on farm.

How to use Insect Nets

The net should be placed directly over the crop before it crop emergence otherwise the insects can become established under the nets.

Unlike fleece it does not stretch so sufficient slack needs to be left from crop growth and securing it at the edges.

The net can be secured by plastic pegs or sandbags but we recommend ploughing in the edges with soil to create a seal so that insects cannot penetrate. The method used will depend on the growing system and if the net needs to be removed for other work e.g. weeding in organics.

Once the net is in place it should be left on the crop until harvest or until there is no further risk from insects. In the case of CRF in the UK this tends to be September or October when the adult flies become dormant.

To remove the net pull out the pegs or pull out the edges if they have been ploughed in and roll the nets up with a crop cover rolling machine or it can be done by hand if it is a smaller area.

If the nets get damaged or torn they can be repaired by hand using our Industrial Sewing thread which will last 15 – 20 years. Some growers have tried using cable ties but as they have no UVI they will only last for a couple of years.

Key Advantages of using Insect Net

Unbeatable protection from insects, wind, rain, hail and other pests including rabbits and deer.

No harvest interval required, simply lift the nets and harvest.

Increased pack outs and more uniform crops providing higher returns.

Better quality clean crop will greatly reduce labour and increase output in the pack house.


Bird & Hail Net

Bird Net

A Background to Bird Net

Crop Solutions Ltd developed this new Bird & Hail Net in July 2009 following feedback from customers. Originally we sold a traditional bird net which had a 30mm diamond mesh. However the issue was, many crops were able to grow through the mesh causing damage to the leaves and the only way to prevent this was to support the net on canes. This was expensive and labour intensive. Other growers complained that birds could become entangled in the larger mesh so we had to come up with a better solution.

After a lot of trials we developed a new light weight Bird & Hail net which has a mesh size 2 x 8mm. It can be laid directly on to delicate crops including Baby Gem and Romaine without causing any damage or abrasion to the leaves.

It is possible to apply certain fertilisers, pesticides and slug pellets through the net.

Our Bird & Hail Net has become popular on many crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, spring greens, cabbage, Iceberg, Baby Gem, Romanine, Lollo Rosso and Baby Leaf.

This net does not alter the growing climate but it gives a large degree of shelter to the crop which has proven to reduce stress and significantly improve plant health resulting in increased pack outs. On white cabbage one grower reported that our Bird & Hail Net increased his tonnes sold by over 20%.

Specification

Our Bird & Hail net is made using the same mono filament as our 1.3mm Insect Net and it has the same reinforced edges with our unique 4 layer double stitched joins. This makes it a very strong light weight net that should last 10 to 12 years.  

Bird Net Mesh Sizes

Net
Mesh Size
Grams per m2
Shade Value

Bird & Hail Net
2mm x 8mm
40g
4%

Bird Net Roll Sizes

 

Standard widths are 3.65m, 13m and 25m

Other widths available to order depending on quantity include:
7.2m, 13.6m, 14m, 15m, 16.5m, 17.75m, 18m, 20.5m, 21.25,m, 26m, 27m, 28m and 37m

 

Standard lengths are 50m, 100m and 200m

Lead Times for Bird Net

We carry a large range of stock but most of our nets are made to order.

Lead times vary from 10 to 25 weeks depending on mesh size and time of year.

It is vital to plan ahead and order your nets at least 4 months before you need them on farm.

How to use Bird Net

As the net does not stretch it needs to be laid loose over the crop leaving enough room for plant growth and securing the net at the edges. The wind can pass through freely through this net so it is very easy to lay and secure.

The best method of securing our Bird & Hail Nets is to use our blue Crop Cover Pegs one every 4 - 5m or our Heavy Duty sandbags. It is also possible to simply put a shovelful of soil on the edge of the net every 4 - 5m to secure it.

If the nets need to be removed regularly for weeding or hand harvesting then sandbags are the best option to secure them.

The nets can be rolled up quickly and easily with our Crop Cover Rolling Machines and unrolled onto the next crop for re-use. Most customers use these nets on several crops during the year as they can be used all year round significantly improving growth, yield and quality.

Key Advantages of using Bird Net

These nets act as an insurance policy giving protection from birds, hail, wind, rain and rabbits, allowing you to harvest more of what you plant.

Improved plant growth and increased uniformity of the finished product.

Can be re-used on other crops during the growing season allowing you to quickly recoup the cost of investment through improved quality and higher yields.


Thermal Net

Thermal Net

A Background to Thermal Nets

We first started selling Thermal Net in 2008 as a potential replacement for fleece. In our trials the Thermal Net was not as early as fleece. On average the harvest date was about 1 to 2 weeks behind the fleece plots which was very similar to our insect net plot results.

If earliness of harvest is not the main factor then Thermal Net is still a very useful crop cover. It will protect crops from wind, rain, hail, rabbits and birds and will advance the harvest date by 1 – 2 weeks.

Specification

A knitted net made out of a combination of flat tape and mono filament HDPE.

Thermal Net Mesh Sizes

Net
Mesh Size
Grams per m2
Shade Value

Knitted Thermal Net
2mm x 3mm
38g
14%

 

Thermal Net Roll Sizes

 

Standard widths are 12.9m and 25m

Other widths available to order depending on quantity include:
2m, 4m, 6m, 8m, 10m, 12m, 14m, 16m, 18m and 20m

 

Standard lengths are 100m and 200m

Lead Times for Thermal Nets

Lead times vary on quantity and time of year but it's normally around 6 to 10 weeks.

How to use Thermal Nets

The net should be placed directly over the crop before crop emergence otherwise the insects can become established under the nets

Unlike fleece it does not stretch so sufficient slack needs to be left from crop growth and securing it at the edges

The net can be secured by plastic pegs or sandbags but we recommend ploughing the edges in with soil to create a seal so that insects cannot penetrate. The method used will depend on the growing system and if the net needs to be removed for other work e.g. weeding in organics

Once the net is in place it should be left on the crop until harvest or until there is no further risk from insects. In the case of CRF in the UK this tends to be September or October when the adult flies become dormant.

To remove the net pull out the pegs or pull out the edges if they have been ploughed in and roll the nets up with a crop cover rolling machine or it can be done by hand if it is a smaller area.

Key Advantages of using Thermal Nets

Slightly cheaper than insect net, it will bring crops forward and offer excellent protection against wind, rain, deer bird and rabbits.

It is strong and easier to lay than fleece and will typically last 5 – 6 years.

It will also give some protection against insects but we do not sell it specifically as an insect net as the mesh size is not uniform.

 


Fleece

Fleece on field x

A Background to Fleece

Agricultural Fleece was first developed in the early eighties by Fiberweb France to allow growers to harvest their crops earlier and extend their growing seasons.

For the past 30 years Fiberweb have remained the worldwide market leaders in agricultural fleece. Today their world famous brands, Agryl®, Covertan® and Novagryl® are still manufactured at the original site in Biesheim, France next to the Rhine. Fiberweb have a dedicated and highly experienced agricultural division who look after all their agricultural production, supplying over 58 countries worldwide.

Unlike many other nonwoven producers Fiberweb extrude, convert, and join their fleece on the same site using the latest technology including high speed camera detection to ensure that their fleece remains the no. 1 brand for quality, strength and reliability.

Link to Fiberweb website 

Specification

Fleece is a light weight crop cover made from spun bonded nonwoven Polypropylene PP. Its unique characteristics allow air, light and rain to pass through and it is designed to stretch as the crop grows.

Fiberweb fleece will normally last 1 to 2 seasons depending on use and weather conditions.

All fleece over 10.5m wide has 300mm reinforced outside edges as standard.

agryl-logo-tech-info

 

Agryl is the original brand that Fiberweb first made nearly 30 years ago. It has the thickest fibres of any fleece made in the world which gives it its unique strength and reliability year on year.

Fleece
Grams per m2
Air Permeability l/m2/sec
Shade Value

Agryl 17
17g
8,200
18%

Agryl 19
19g
7,500
19%

Agryl 22
22g
6,000
21%

Agryl 30
30g
4,700
25%

Agryl 40
40g
3,800
30%

Agryl 50 Black
50g
3,200
95%

Agryl 60
60g
2,700
35%

 

 

novagryl-logo-tech-info

 

Novagryl is a unique 3 layer fleece which is made using very fine fibre. This gives it a much softer feel, improved thermal properties and market leading elongation which allows this fleece to stretch to over 60% of its original width making it ideal for tall crops such as sweetcorn.

Fleece
Grams per m2
Air Permeability l/m2/sec
Shade Value

Novagryl 17
17g
5,800
18%

Novagryl 19
19g
5,700
18%

Novagryl 22
22g
5,600
22%

agryl-logo-tech-info

 

Widths
Agryl can be made in a range of sizes from 2m to 28m wide but standard sizes include
 2.2, 4.5, 6.5, 8.5, 10.5, 12.25, 12.75, 13.6, 16, 17.4, 23.25m

Lengths
Lengths available from 100m to 1500m
Standard rolls are 250m and 500m long

 

novagryl-logo-tech-info

 

Widths
Novagryl can be made in a range of sizes from 2m to 28m wide but standard sizes include
3.2, 4, 6.6, 8.5, 10.5, 11.3, 12.1, 12.8, 13.6, 15.2, 16, 20.4m

Lengths
Lengths available from 100m to 1500m
Standard rolls are 250m, 500m and 1,000m long

Lead Times for Fleece

We carry a large range of fleece in stock but most of our fleece is made to order for each customer.

Lead times vary from 2 to 6 weeks depending on time of year.

For spring deliveries it is best to place any orders before Christmas to ensure delivery is made on time.

How to use Fleece

Fleece should be laid directly on top of the crop and secured with soil or sandbags. It must be laid as tight as a bed sheet otherwise it will catch the wind and flap damaging the emerging crop. A good quality fleece has 20 – 30% stretch so it can expand as the crop grows.

If securing with soil it is important not to use too much soil otherwise the fleece will be very hard to remove.

Fleece can be left on the crop as long as required but it is normally advisable to take it off in June otherwise the crop below will start to suffer from heat stress.

To remove the fleece simply pull out the edges and it can then be rolled up with a crop cover rolling machine and reused the following season if it is still in good condition.

Key Advantages of using Fleece

Fleece is a relatively low cost crop cover which can be re-used for a second season if carefully handled.

It will advance certain crops by up to 4 weeks.

It will help protect early crops from frost.

It is possible to spray and irrigate the crop without having to remove the fleece. However, if spraying with sulphur or chlorine based products, this can damage the UV resistance and significantly reduce the lifetime of the fleece. Following such treatments, no claims can be accepted.

It will offer protection from wind, rain, frost, birds and insects. Because it is a light weight cover and the fact that it has to be removed during the summer it is not ideal for insect protection. It has been designed as a thermal crop cover to advance harvest dates and protect crops from frost.


Ground Cover

Ground Cover

Groundcovers are normally used for controlling weeds and are sometimes referred to as a mulch or a floating mulch.

There are four basics types of groundcover:

      Woven Groundcover

      Nonwoven Groundcover

      Black Poly

      Bio Degradable Poly

WOVEN GROUNDCOVER

This is a strong black durable woven groundcover made out of polypropylene PP. It often has coloured stripes or grids incorporated into the weaving pattern. It is suitable for pedestrian traffic and is mainly used for lining floors in glasshouses, nurseries and poly tunnels. It can also be used for as a membrane below gravel paths and patios to prevent weeds but still allowing water to pass through. When exposed to sunlight it will last around 5 years but if put below a patio it will last for over 20 years.

 

Product
Grams per m2
Air Permeability l/m2/sec
Shade Value

Woven Groundcover
110g
TBC
TBC

 

Widths
Standard widths are 2m and 3.6m but other sizes can be made up to 18m wide depending on size of order

Lengths
Standard lengths are 100m and 200m

NON-WOVEN GROUNDCOVER

This is also a strong durable groundcover but not as suitable for pedestrian traffic. It is mainly used as a membrane to cover beds to plant fruit or vegetables through. It is easy to cut and does not fray like woven ground cover. It has better permeability for air and water preventing the soil below it from becoming stagnant. This makes it ideal for strawberry beds in outdoor production as it will let rain water pass through. It can also be used below patios and pathways. When exposed to sunlight it will last 5 years and when put below a patio it should last 10 – 12 years.

 

Product
Grams per m2
Air Permeability l/m2/sec
Shade Value

Agryl 50B
50g
3,200
95.5

 

Widths
Agryl 50B Groundcover can be made in a range of widths up to 12.5m wide
Standard widths are 1.6m and 3.2m

Lengths
Lengths available from 100m to 1500m
Standard rolls are 250m long

BLACK POLYTHENE

Is a heavy duty black polythene which is used as a cheaper type of groundcover to prevent weeds growing in beds. Advantages are it is relativity cheap to buy, it is easy to slit and to plant though but it does not let any water pass through so the crop must be irrigated underneath the cover.

 

Product
Microns
Air Permeability l/m2/sec
Shade Value

Black Poly
40
Zero
98%

 

Widths
Standard widths are 1.6m, 1.8m and 2.0m

Lengths
Lengths available from 100m to 1000m

BLACK BIODEGRADABLE POLY

This is a very light weight bio poly made out of corn starch that is totally biodegradable. It will breakdown into water and C02 inside 14 – 18 weeks. It is ideal for organic production as it will keep the weeds down until the crop gets established. As regulations get tougher on herbicides and herbicide harvest intervals more and more salad growers are experimenting with bio degradable poly. Advantages are herbicides are not required so there is no harvest interval, it helps retain moisture in the soil helping germination and it stops rain and soil splash onto the leaves. If the cover has not totally degraded by the time the crop is harvested it can be incorporated in to the soil and it will continue to degrade without sunlight. Other non-starch based bio poly covers will not degrade unless they are exposed to sunlight so it is important to use a starch based product.

 

Product
Microns
Air Permeability l/m2/sec
Shade Value

Bio Poly
15
TBC
TBC

 

Widths
Standard widths are 1.6m, 1.8m and 2.0m

Lengths
Lengths available from 100m to 1000m


Crop Cover Machinery

HISTORY OF OUR MACHINES

In 2009 we designed and launched the MK1 Crop Cover Rolling & Unrolling Machine.

Between 2009 and 2012 three versions were built the MK1, MK2 and MK3 which were originally painted red and all were quite similar in design.   It was a dual purpose machine which could roll up crop covers on to a box section core. The rolling up dishes and hydraulic drive etc could be removed so that the machine could convert into an unrolling machine. These original machines had hydraulic headstocks and an electric tension device which made them very adaptable for many types of crop covers and it was a successful model.

  • MK1 - Rear Mounted
  • MK1 in unrolling mode
  • MK2 – Front Mounted
  • MK3 in unrolling mode

In 2012 due to increasing build costs and feedback from some larger customers prompted us to re-think the design.

Instead of building one machine we decided to split it and build two separate new machines one to roll up and one to unroll and these became the new MK4 Rolling Machine and the MK4 Unrolling Machine. It saves the hassle of removing the dishes to change the machine from the rolling up mode to the unrolling mode. It also allows customers to roll up crop covers in one field and unroll them in another field at the same time and this has proven to be our best crop cover handling system to date. Some customers who bought the original MK1 machines have since bought one of the new MK4 Unrolling machines as it saves them time and makes their system more efficient.

  • MK4 - Front Mounted
  • MK4 in unrolling mode
  • MK4 – Hydraulic tension device
  • MK4 – discharged rolls 25 x 200m

In 2015 for smaller growers handling 10 – 20ha of crop covers we introduced a new lower cost Fixed Frame Rolling & Unrolling Machine. This machine offers excellent value for money as it has similar capabilities to the MK4 Rolling Up Machine and it can also unroll. It can still roll up insect nets up to 25m wide x 200m long like the MK4 and unroll them again but purely to save build costs it does not have the hydraulic headstock, collapsible cores, parallel radial arm or hydraulic tension device. Instead it has a fixed headstock, a single beam radial arm and a new manual tension device which is still very effective. It also has the added feature that you can insert two legs for unrolling but without having to remove the dishes.

All of our machines are built using the latest precision technology including tube lasers, sheet lasers and robotics. Once completed the machines are powder coated to give them a professional and long lasting finish.

MK4 CROP COVER ROLLING MACHINE

Hydraulic headstock that can open out to 5.2m

Can roll up crop covers on to box section cores ranging from 2m to 3.5m long

Parallel radial arm for even feed of covers into the machine

New Hydraulic Tension device

New improved Collapsible Cores that allow the machine to roll up crop covers and discharge them with no centre core to go for disposal or recycling

New 500mm Stretch Wrapper fitted as standard

New improved electric system which has been designed as plug and play

New improved fully proportional hydraulics which are faster than the original MK1, Mk2 & Mk3 models

New bolt action pins to secure the box section cores in place

Can handle crop covers from 2m to 37m wide weighing up to 1,000kgs

  • MK4 Rolling Machine – discharged roll
  • MK4 control box
 

MK4 CROP COVER UNROLLING MACHINE

Hydraulic headstock that can open out to 5.2m

Can carry two rolls x 500kgs at a time to speed up field operations

Can unroll new insect net, fleece or poly with cores sizes up to 5m long

Can unroll any kind of used crop cover that has been rolled onto a box section core

Extremely strong design that can carry up to 1,000kgs of crop covers

  • MK4 URM - Extension legs stored for transport
  • MK4 URM at 5.2m wide

MK1 FIXED FRAME CROP COVER ROLLING & UNROLLING MACHINE

Fixed headstock that is 2.9m wide

Single beam radial arm

In cab electrics with new plug and play design

Fully proportional hydraulics

Manual two stage Tension Device

500mm Stretch Wrapper fitted as standard

Bolt action pins to secure box section cores

Can roll up crop covers from 2m to 25m wide

Can unroll any kind of used crop cover that the machine has rolled onto the box section cores

Can unroll any kind of new crop cover as long as the core length is not more than 2.3m

  • MK1 Fixed Frame Rolling Machine
  • MK1 FFRM - control box
  • Fixed Frame Rolling Machine rear mounted
  • Prototype Fixed Frame Rolling Machine in unrolling mode

A Guide as to which machine may be right for you:

If you roll up or unroll more than 20ha of crop covers per year, the MK4 is the best system.

If you need to roll up large quantities of fleece, net or poly for disposal again, the MK4 is best.

If you are unrolling new covers with cores lengths greater than 2.3m, it requires the MK4.

If you are rolling up and reusing up to 20ha per year of crop covers, then the new MK1 Fixed Frame Machine is ideal.

 


Ancillary Products

CROP SOLUTIONS CROP COVER PEGS

We designed these pegs as a cheap and easy method to secure Insect Nets and Bird & Hail Nets.

The pegs are pushed through the edge of the net and hammered in to the ground.

To secure Insect Nets it requires a peg every 1.5 to 2m.

To secure Bird & Hail Nets it requires a peg every 4 to 5m.

They are made out of a bright blue polymer to make them easy to find in the field.

They have a flat top to make them easy to hammer into hard ground.

They have a reinforced gusset below the handle making them the strongest crop cover pegs on the market.

They should last 10 to 15 years.

They are 140mm x 230mm and are supplied in boxes of 200.

CROP SOLUTIONS GROUND COVER PEGS

This is a very heavy duty and competitively priced groundcover peg which has been specifically designed to be hammered into very tough ground conditions.

They are 6 times the weight of standard groundcover pegs and are the strongest groundcover pegs available on the market.

They are even stronger than some other brands of metal pegs.

They are very popular with customers who have nurseries and permanent poly tunnels where ground conditions tend to be extremely hard.

Due to their exceptional strength they can be pulled out and re-used and should last 10 – 15 years.

They are 215mm long and supplied in boxes of 200.

150mm GROUND COVER PEGS

These are a very good quality standard 150mm groundcover pegs with a flat top and 10 barbs to help them get a good purchase in the soil.

They are well constructed and competitively priced.

They are 150mm long and supplied in boxes of 1,100.

 

CROP SOLUTIONS SANDBAGS

Unlike normal woven plastic sandbags that are made out of polypropylene PP and last 2 to 24 months, these new bags are made out of UVI stabilised high grade High Density Polyethylene HDPE which will last 10 to 12 years.

They hold 6 – 8 kgs.

When filled simply tie a knot in the neck of the bag which then acts as a handle. We recommend that they are filled with clean gravel as it makes them much easier to handle especially in wet conditions.

They are ideal for securing Insect Nets, Bird & Hail Nets and Fleece.

Some customers who plough in the edges on their insect nets now use our sandbags to secure the ends on the headlands as it saves digging them in by hand. This saves having to pull the ends out before rolling them up which saves a lot of time and labour and it keeps the nets much cleaner for re-use.

They are 270mm x 1,000mm and supplied in boxes of 200.

CROP SOLUTIONS SUPPORT HOOPS

These small light weight galvanised hoops are a relatively cheap method to keep Insect Nets suspended above delicate crops such as baby leaf salads to prevent any possible damage to the leaves and they improve airflow.

We normally recommend placing a hoop in the middle of each bed about 3m apart.

They are 160mm wide x 500mm high and supplied in packs of 20.

CROP SOLUTIONS INDUSTRIAL SEWING THREAD

This is an extremely strong industrial thread with UVI which is ideal for repairing damaged nets.

It has been designed to last 15 to 20 years.

They are sold as single spools and each spool contains 3,000m.