Good Fruit Grower

February 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 39 of 55

40 FEBRUARY 1, 2015 GOOD FRUIT GROWER I n Italy, the apple orchards all look much the same— the growers collaborate to make it that way—and a common feature is concrete posts. Manufacturers make them, growers use them, and a whole support industry has grown up to make the specialized caps, brackets, and anchors that hold wire and hail nets in place. At the Interpoma trade show in Bolzano, Italy, in November, Good Fruit Grower interviewed Paolo Zalgelli, a representative of the 50-year-old, family-owned Italian company Valente. The company sells concrete poles across Italy, Europe, North Africa, and Arabia, and the major disadvantage is the weight, both in shipping and handling, he said. The posts are strong and clean; there is no staining and no bleeding through of rust from re-rod. The posts are made, Zalgelli said, in a factory in fi ve lines of forms, each 120 meters (almost 400 feet) long. The secret to their strength lies in the way they are made. Lengths of high quality steel wire, at least four strands and more for larger posts, are stretched inside the form and the mix of sand, cement, and water is poured in. The concrete is vibrated to make it denser and, after it has reached a certain point in the cure, the wires are relaxed—effectively compacting the post in the long direction. The result is prestressed concrete posts. After curing for two days, the posts are cut to length, usually fi ve meters (just over 16 feet), and loaded for shipping. The company is experimenting with a lighter concrete. Adding a special fi ber to the mix maintains the strength, Zalgelli said, but cuts the weight by 25 percent. The 12-centime- ter (5-inch) square posts weigh 25 kilograms per meter, but only 20 in the fi ber version. The large end post pic- tured weighs about 225 pounds. The company makes posts in four sizes—roughly 8-by-12, 7-by-7, 7-by-8, and 12-by-12 centimeters. They are not perfectly square but trapezoidal—bread-loaf shape. A centimeter is four-tenths of an inch. One of the attractions of concrete is its extremely long life. European growers install expensive trellis and hail SUPPORT Concrete Across South Tyrol, growers use posts made of concrete, rather than wood. by Richard Lehnert Valente's display at Interpoma showed cross- section cuts of concrete posts, revealing their internal structure. QUINC Y • OTHELLO • MOSES LAKE • PASCO WALLA WALLA • HERMISTON • LA GRANDE LAKEVIEW• CHRISTMAS VALLEY• HINES• CORVALLIS QUINC Y OTHELLO MOSES LAKE PASCO Checkout Our Large Selection Of Used Tractors On Our Website Call us at 1-800-203-0344 PAIRING YOUR REDS & WHITES WITH BLUE. PAIRING YOUR REDS & WHITES WITH BLUE. DEDICATED. UNCOMPROMISED. SMART. • Flexible SDC shaking system • Proven NORIA basket system • Four models — 9040M (141 hp), 9060L (151 hp), 9090L (175 hp), 9090X (175 hp) For more than 35 years, the nation's finest vineyards have relied on New Holland Braud Grape Harvesters. That's because New Holland's top priority is preserving the quality of each and every grape for top-quality wine. Now that's New Holland SMART. © 2015 CNH Industrial America LLC. All rights reserved. New Holland Agriculture is a trademark registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or affiliates.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - February 2015