Gripple, the wire joining device and suspension system manufacturer, has launched a pioneering below-ground anchor range featuring the first product to guarantee lifelong security to crops and gives total resistance against even the most corrosive conditions.
The Gripple APEXÔ anchor introduces civil engineering technology, never seen before in vineyard management, using state-of-the-art materials to prevent wind-driven movement of the trellis and eliminates potential for collapse and the loss of crops.
More lightweight and easier to install than traditional stakes or steel augers, it also uses a zinc aluminium alloy anchor and polymer fibre tendon to avoid corrosion which lasts the lifetime of the vine.
John Butterworth, head of outdoor products at Gripple, who has led development of the APEX anchor range, explains: “Corrosion is a huge risk in the vineyard industry due to the variation in soils and can affect even the most prestigious regions such as Champagne and Cognac. The cost of losing entire crops due to collapsed trellising is a real and potentially very expensive threat.
“Therefore, we have developed the only product of its kind in agriculture which replaces traditional methods of anchoring trellises such as heavy steel augers or stakes, which are not only labour-intensive to install but can be unreliable and prone to rust. APEX can also be easily installed in hard-to-reach areas which would otherwise be difficult to access by tractor.
“By combining an anchor made of zinc aluminium alloy and a polymer fibre tendon – traditionally used to secure coastal and flood defences – we have created a more durable and reliable solution which is easy to install with hand tools.”
The anchor is hammered into the ground and a cord is pulled up which flips the anchor into a horizontal position which secures it with minimal soil disruption. Although it has been designed primarily for vineyards it can also be used in orchards or for the growing of hops and kiwis.
Mr Butterworth adds: “We know that during the first couple of years of a crop, farmers use this time to tweak the infrastructure, making it as secure and effective as possible. APEX removes the trial and error out of securing trellising and the associated time and costs and ensures the farmer never loses a crop.”
The APEX range includes wire and steel rod tendons and Gripple has been delivering a simple jar test kit to customers with information leaflets to easily identify their soil and how to choose the best product for their land.
To find out more about Gripple and the APEX range, visit www.gripple.com/apex or contact the team on 0114 275 2255.