Our citrus netting is manufactured by Smart Net Systems, and is of the highest quality high-density UV-protected polyethylene. The first netting we supplied has now been in use for 6 years and looks like it will make at least 8+ years of use for this application.
Our citrus netting is manufactured to customers' specifications. Smart Net Systems has designed and developed a citrus netting machine for the easy application and removal of your netting.
- Weight: 55g per square meter
- Lifespan: 8+ years
- Ideal anti-pollination bee netting, preventing the development of seeds
- Excellent for growing high-quality mandarin orange crops
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The Benefits of Citrus Netting
Why use Citrus Netting?
To produce high quality seedless oranges.
Why produce seedless oranges?
Greater value, improving the return of your crop.
Cross pollination by bees in citrus crops causes seeds in easy peel oranges. California has been netting oranges to protect against cross pollination by bees for 6 years, since 2008.
Seedless oranges are achieved by using a fine mesh polyethylene net to entirely cover rows of oranges. Smart Net Systems has been involved in providing citrus netting since 2008. Smart Net Systems developed and built a machine to install and remove the nets. The machine not only installs and removes nets but provides a means of storage for the nets. The machine is designed to be a 3-point hitch attachment and run from the tractor’s hydraulics.
Installing and Removing Nets
Nets are applied prior to bloom. The best scenario for netting application is after harvest and before bloom. Before applying nets, trenching both sides of the rows of trees is done to facilitate securing edges of nets. The machine lays nets over the rows and the edges of net are held down with dirt in trenches. When the bloom is over, nets are lifted from trees and spooled on the machine.
Netting has been proven to stop cross-pollination, resulting in seedless oranges, protecting your investment and getting the best value for your crop.
Questions and Answers from Citrus Growers
Q: Is netting effective in stopping seed production and if so, how effective?
A: Netting is extremely effective. Without the use of netting, we could not bring our product to market. The market standard is ‘no seeds’ in easy peel oranges. We see no seeds in oranges that are netted.
Q: How much separation zone is needed between seedless netted trees and other cross pollinators, to avoid wind born cross pollination?
A: We do not need any separation area between netted varieties and other un-netted citrus species. The netted rows closest to the other species are seedless.
Q: What about crop yield?
A: Very little difference. Fruit that has seeds is larger than fruit that is seedless. As a result, the trees that produce seedless oranges will have slightly less weight yield, but the seedless fruit is all high value and marketable. Mandarins with seeds have limited or no market value. End result is a more valuable crop. It is becoming policy for the packing plants in California to not accept soft peel oranges that have seeds.
Q: How much time is there between harvest and when the nets have to be applied? Also, when do you have to start your planning for the netting?
A: Netting is applied as soon as the harvest is done. There is only about a two week period between harvest and blossom event. The nets are on the trees for a period of between 3 and 7 weeks, depending on weather. One should start planning your netting regime for the following year at least 6 months prior.
Q: Do you notice any loss of productivity due to pruning and topping at 3 to 3.5 meters to facilitate application and removal of nets?
A: We have not noticed any difference in production. There are three reasons we prune in this manner: we try to maintain the height and the width of the trees so the nets fit year after year, it simplifies the harvest as the fruit is all harvested from ladders, it also addresses safety concerns. The fruiting zone on the Murcott is in the range of 3 to 3.5 meters and if you allowed the tree to grow to greater heights the fruiting zone is in the top 3 meters and you see a bit of die-out and non productive branches in the lower regions.
Q: Do you need a machine for netting citrus?
A: The use of a machine is essential for the application, removal and managing nets for storage. This machine was designed by Smart Net Systems specifically for use in netting citrus crops. The citrus netting machine is designed for a 3-point hitch mounting and use of tractor hydraulics.