In many areas, some of which are in Kenya, heat is a detriment to many crops. As a result, farmers leave the farms with fewer plants than the original target. Experts developed shade net technology to combat sunlight and prevent heat from ruining crops. Shade nets are a technological advancement that has dramatically impacted the agricultural sector and benefited several farmers.
What is a shade net?
A shade net is a knitted cloth used in agriculture to cover crops, aiming to shield them from exposure to UV radiation and the sun’s heat. They also have other functions like allowing proper air circulation and moisture control the nurseries and greenhouses and keeping away pests.
The best agricultural shade nets used in Kenya
Shade nets are classified into two categories. They can be classified according to the range of colors available in the market. The most common shade nets under this category are black and green. They can also be classified according to the shade they can provide. The most commonly used shade nets under this category are 90%, 75%, 55%, and 30%.
Before buying a shade net, measure the sun’s intensity. Then, consider the type of crops you have grown. Some crops require more sunshine to grow than others, so you must ensure that the shade net you choose can block the correct percentage of excess sunlightDoing this will prevent the crops from being malnourished.
Shade net Kenya has positively affected the growth of agriculture through the effectiveness and availability of the nets to the farmers.
Before buying a shade net, ensure that the material used is durable. Lightweight materials like wire mesh are more susceptible to damage by rain or wind than dense materials like polyethylene. Using more durable materials will save you a lot of stress in the long run and constantly keep your plants healthy. Overall, experts design shade nets to last several years.
How does a shade net work?
The color of the shade net is a significant determinant here. Dark colors like black absorb heat, while light colors like green reflect heat. They act as a filter, only allowing a certain percentage of light to pass through them. The denser the net, the lower the portion of heat allowed to pass through. Different plants require different quantities.
Black shade nets protect crops from very harmful UV radiation, green shade nets neither absorb nor reflect too much sunlight, and white nets have a significantly enhanced cooling effect.
Are there other alternatives?
Yes, there are. Some people use regular white sheets, and they work pretty well. Others have used window screens and floating row covers. However, many large-scale and commercial farmers still prefer shade nets for their farming.
Longevity of shade nets
A shade net can last for a very long time. On average, shade nets last around five to six years, even in harsh climatic conditions.
Most companies provide a warranty and the shade nets they sell. Very dense shade nets generally have a warranty of about ten years. The least dense ones generally have a warranty of not less than five years.
Shade nets have been a big help to the agricultural sector and have brought many farmers great joy.