The wind machine as saviour of fruit blossom – Protection from frost in South Africa

Most people probably imagine the weather in South Africa to be warm throughout the year. But the nights can be cooler than cool in the southern hemisphere as well. That confronts the farmers there with a problem all over again every winter: heavy frosts can potentially result in lower yields or even the loss of an entire crop – if the temperature drops well below zero the fruit blossom freezes.

From this year onwards our citrus fruit suppliers from South Africa, André and Madeline Spangenberg at the Groenheuwel Boerdery, intend to take precautionary measures to save their crop from frosts. They have had seven wind machines towering high in the air installed in their orchard. The machines work on the same principle as fans and put air into motion. To be more precise, the cold air just above ground-level is mixed with warmer air from higher levels. The warmth generated as a result protects the plants from the harmful frost.

The crop of citrus fruit came to an end at the Spangenbergs in June. The juicy organic oranges and organic grapefruit grown by the Spangenbergs are now in the cool stores run by Bio Tropic.

It is now winter in South Africa since the country is in the southern hemisphere and the seasons there are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. The first new blossom on the orange and grapefruit trees is expected from September onwards. By then at the latest the Spangenbergs will have a firm indication of how effective their wind machines have been.

Text: Visnja Malesic
Pictures: BioTropic GmbH | Wind machine: Anena Burger

Tags: Grapefruit (GB), Groenheuwel Boerdery (GB), Oranges (GB), South Africa (GB), Citrus (GB)

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