Payback for Wind Machines – A Case Study – Apple

A presentation by Hugh Fraser, Agricultural Engineer, OMAFRA, at the Apple Academy in February 2011 highlighted “Protection Technology” and the use of wind machines to protect apple crops from extremely cold temperatures in the spring. Of course, this technology has already been in use for several years in grapes and now more recently tender fruits.


Capital Cost of Orchard-Rite® Model 2600 = $34,000
Machine, Pad, Install – no HST
Fuel = estimate $35/hour x 4 nights x 6 hours per night average = $840 per year
Service Life = 35 years
# of acres covered = 15 acres


Value of Crop protected at:$.35 per lb. (2)$.56 per lb. (3)
34,000 lbs. per acre (1,2,3)$11,900$19,040
Value of 15 acres (protected by one Wind Machine)$178,500$285,600
Revenue generated over 20 years$3,570,000$5,712,000
Less Crop Loss from 6 frost events (4)$508,725$813,960
= Revenue after 6 frost events$3,061,275$4,898,040

1 = Establishment and Production Costs for Apples in Ontario, 2010 Economic Report, Ontario Apple Growers
2 = OAG 2009 average pricing
3 = Price from Honeycrisp™ apple, wholesale grower, Hugh Fraser, OMAFRA
4 = 6 frost events over 20 years with an estimated crop losses of 10%, 25%, 40%, 60, 75 and 90%


For an Investment of $34,000 for one Orchard-Rite® 2600 wind machine, you can save $509K to $814K over 20 years if you had 6 typical frost events!

Vineyards Hit by Winter Freeze and Spring Frost Create Other Issues

  • Reduced Yield
  • Additional hand thinning costs to sort out misshapen fruit
  • Additional harvest costs in the field
  • Additional sorting costs in the packing line


Additional Benefits with Wind Machines

  • Investment for one machine is only 19% of your gross revenues for ONE YEAR at 35 cents per lb. and only 12% of your gross revenue for ONE YEAR at 56 cents per lb.
  • Gives you a piece of mind
  • Offers you tree protection in extreme cold during winter
  • 10 year financing available to ease investment burden on cash flow
  • Leasing available to assist with cash flow and, in some cases, tax ramifications


The Best Investment You Can Make to Protect Your Farm From Cold Weather & Frost Events!

For site visits and surveys or if you have any questions regarding how Orchard Rite® wind machines could be used in your operation, please contact:

Ken Slingerland – Wind Machine Specialist
Lakeview Vineyard Equipment Inc.,
40 Lakeshore Road, RR5,
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S IJ0
Shop: 905-646-8085
Toll Free: 1-866-677-4717
Cell: 905-651-0057