Italian company L'Agri Valle Bronda offers many different products and services to growers in Northern Italy, including crop protection.
Back in January 2022 due to customer demand they started to supply frost fans. This demand came following a major frost event in Italy, which caused a lot of damage to crops.
“Growers have seen the risk of frost increasing in recent years and are now keen to invest in frost fans to reduce the risk of crop damage,” said Samuel Piovano from L'Agri Valle Bronda.
“We decided to import 4 and 5 blade FrostBoss® fans from New Zealand Frost Fans because we believe they are the best machines on the market. They are simple to use and calibrate and use less fuel. A big factor for our customers is that the fans are very quiet. Many of them grow in populated areas and value good relationships with their neighbours.”
In the first year L'Agri Valle Bronda ordered 18 fans from New Zealand, this year they ordered a further 24 as demand has increased.
“One of our customers ordered just one the first year as they wanted try it out; they have now ordered five more as they were very happy and want to cover more of their orchards. They like the fact that the fans have sensors and will start automatically if there is a frost event.”
FrostBoss® fans are supplied with FrostSmart™ monitoring hardware as standard, which enables growers to access real-time monitoring of their fans via their smartphone or any other internet-connected device. Alarms can be generated in the form of text messages. Frost fan status along with tower temperature, engine rpm, battery status, wind speed and trip hours are sent to a customer-specific website. By far the majority of growers subscribe to FrostSmart Monitoring when they purchase a FrostBoss Frost Fan.
FrostBoss fans have also been approved for Industry 4.0 status in Italy providing growers with access to an additional level of subsidy over and above existing EU subsidies for frost fans. There are of course other methods of protecting crop against frost, one of which is using sprinklers, but in Piedmont, Northern Italy, water is also scarce and growers do not want to waste this resource.
“Growers are seeing the benefit of investing in fans to have the maximum protection from frost.”