Farmers who have been thinking about setting up a kiwifruit orchard in recent months have undoubtedly heard of the new Combimetal umbrella-shaped structure. This is an innovation in the field of greenhouses, which has quickly gained the trust of many producers, thanks to its many benefits.
"In Basilicata alone, we have so far installed four structures, for a total of 15 hectares, and in the next few days we will start another plant in the Metapontino area. New installations are also being carried out in the Lamentino and Cuneo areas. Calabria, Marche, Piedmont, Veneto and Basilicata are the regions from which we receive the most requests,” explained Antonio Carrera, owner of the company.
Antonio Carrera in a new kiwi fruit orchard (red kiwi variety) in Rotondella, province of Matera, in Basilicata
"This is a very good result, if we consider that investments in greenhouse structures have drastically decreased due to the increase in raw material prices. In some areas, we are witnessing a diversification of cultivation. Many growers are reducing the surface area of those products that require a lot of labor or that have recorded an uncertain commercial trend in recent years, while kiwi fruits seem to be on the list of crops to be considered for a change of pace. It doesn't matter which variety (green, yellow or red), because our umbrella-shaped structure is ideal for the new kiwi cultivars since it can withstand both the load of the net and the thermoplastic film.
"In the new plantings so far, there are no more concrete poles, only tubes of different diameters (33 - 42 or 48 mm with a thickness of 2-2.5 mm) and 10 mm steel cables to which the branches are tied. The tubes reach about 60 cm into the ground, providing a more stable and resistant structure in the case of extreme weather events. Its umbrella shape is designed to provide more ventilation, as well as covering the entire plant. With the included steel cables, the farmer can tie the branches together, preventing the fruit from touching each other as it grows and making the harvest easier."
Branches tied to steel cables
"Those who have contacted us often have interesting and forward-looking projects, but most of these entrepreneurs prefer to start with an average area of 3-4 hectares. The raw material price increase has certainly had an impact. The steelmakers warned us that things will remain the same in the first few months of 2022, and that prices will not tend to drop, but rather stabilize. Over the past few months, some people have visited our plants to get a hands-on feel for the new greenhouse but decided to postpone the investment in the hope that prices would fall. There is no waiting. Well begun is half done!".