During the NFO research trip, trip leader Pieter Aalbers took the group to the company he has been working for as a sales advisor since February 1. Together with the owner's son, Jack Hermens, Pieter lead the group around the company.
"We are higher here than the surrounding area which is very favourable when it comes to frost. Water on the other hand is a challenge, as water is very scarce in this region," says Pieter Aalbers during the tour. Hermens Fruitsystems is traditionally a family cultivation company, of which the third generation is currently at the helm. As well as growing fruit Hermens imports Italian hail defence systems and other cultivation support. The fruit growing company consists of 18 hectares of apples and pears, 6 hectares of Conference, 5 hectares of Elstar, 1 hectare of Junami and soon 3 hectares of Magic Star will be planted. The intention is for the area of Magic Star to be expanded, which will eventually be at the cost of Junami and Conference.
Pieter Aalbers tells the visitors more about the hail nets
Hail nets required
The hail defence systems are of the brand Valente and are imported from Italy. "Although there is a significant cost attached to buying the hail nets, it can't be prevented in some cases. The weather is becoming increasingly extreme, which makes the chance of hail larger. There are areas that escape, but there are also those that are hit every year. Growing under the hail nets is even required for some varieties, such as Magic Star. Hail nets don't just prevent hail damage to the various fruit trees that can be grown under them, they also prevent the fruit from burning in the sun," says Jack Hermens.
Besides hail nets in the colours black, grey and white with clip or zip systems, Hermens also supplies the concrete poles in various thicknesses and heights, ground anchors, yokes, steel cables and thread and foils and sundries. "Growers can get everything they need here for the full picture. Because we are fruit growers ourselves we understand the situation of the grower and we can offer a solution tailored to work the best for the grower," according to Pieter.
The water supply
Concrete poles in various thicknesses and colours
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