Wind machines work with nature to pull the warmer air down into the orchard or growing field to raise temperatures and save crops.
There are two types of freezing weather that can affect crops, advective and radiational. Advective freezing typically occurs in colder, winter months. Radiant frost most frequently occurs in the spring and fall when crops are the most vulnerable.
Advective freezing occurs when cold air is pushed into a region by winds, replacing the warm air that was present.
Radiant frost happens when the sun heats the air and ground around the crops during the day, but cooler temperatures move in at night. When the air cools at night, the heat from the ground radiates and rises, causing a rapid drop in temperatures near the surface. This drop in temperature causes frost to accumulate on plant surfaces, pulling moisture from the plants, leading to dehydration which can cause crop damage.
The warmer air that rose above the ground during the night doesn’t just escape into the atmosphere, it is often trapped in a layer above the crops forming what’s known as an inversion layer.
Orchard-Rite wind machines rotate 360º as they pull the warmer air from the inversion layer into the crop zone, mixing it with the cooler air below. Wind machines are most effective when the inversion layer is 15 to 75 feet above the crop zone.
Wind machines have proven to be an effective and cost-efficient means of protecting crops of all kinds against the damaging effects of radiant spring frost and advective winter freezes.