Welcome to Haygrove Tunnels South Africa

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Haygrove Tunnels South Africa  was born in 1996 and after developing the technology in the UK to protect strawberries, then started to export to growers in other countries in 2001. Today the business works with a team of design engineers who have developed bespoke systems not only for North European climates, but also for many other climate zones from Kenya to Patagonia.

Our passion is working grower to grower – not just selling the technology, but working with growers to ensure they optimise their returns from the Haygrove Tunnel system.

Haygrove farming continues to grow berries worldwide with farms in the United Kingdom and South Africa. The main crops grown are strawberries and raspberries. These crops are both soil and substrate grown. The importance of efficient substrate growing has led Haygrove to develop and perfect a number of substrate growing systems and to become one of the market leaders in this field.

Under-pinning our business is Haygrove Development. We are trying our best to harness our horticultural experience and technologies to help develop under-privileged and emerging growers – we also try to foster co-operation with other small and medium size businesses with the aim of developing smaller and emerging farmers who have not been formerly exposed to Growing under cover.  We are certain that the problems of Africa need not only the involvement of NGOs but of established business as well.   See http://www.haygrove.co.uk/haygrove-development/ for more details.

Haygrove South Africa (Pty) Ltd has its offices, warehouse and training facility in Grabouw in the Western Cape. The company is run by the Managing Director, Mark Pritchett.  Mark holds a BSc degree in Horticulture and Agriculture Economics from The University of Stellenbosch.  Mark previously grew 80 hectares of strawberries in the UK, 40 of which were protected with the Haygrove tunnel.

Haygrove brings a grower to grower approach. Our goal is to supply farmers with a cost effective solution to covering large areas with tunnels.  Offering outstanding customer service, increased flexibility, and greater value, thus optimizing efficiency.

Our sales personal are distinguished by their functional and technical expertise combined with their hands-on experience, thereby ensuring that our clients receive the most effective and professional service.

Haygrove has the combined expertise drawn from experience in 52 other countries over the last 7 years. We have now perfected our tunnel spec and supply chain to conform to a sound service.

Steel Gutters

We have the capacity to supply a hectare of tunnels at any given time and our in-house fabrication allows us to make adaptations and produce specialised components locally.

The exceptional climatic conditions in South Africa has forced us to strive for the correct tunnel specification whilst maintaining our cost vs. strength balance. We have over 600ha of crops covered around South Africa to date.

As experts in multispan tunnels, we supply farmers with well specified solutions to covering any area from a small germination house to large areas spanning many hectares.  We maintain our integrity and find the perfect balance between cost and strength for each individual farmer.

The Haygrove Shade Series structures are uniquely flexible and upgradeable. Innovative design has resulted in decreased cost/m2 and offers growers the ability to completely remove the net with ease and from the ground, this allows optimum light penetration, pollination or the ability to dry a crop. The arched structure allows more consistent light penetration through the net into the crop canopy. The arched structure has an additional 35% more air volume than a flat top structure of the same leg height.

Structures are designed to also be moveable by using legs augured into the ground and held in position by anchor plates. Leg heights can vary from 1.25m, through to 4,5m, providing unmatched air volumes and the ability to cover larger tree crops maximum apex height is 7.5m. The frame is built using imported extra strength high tensile pre-galvanized steel. Each structure’s specification is tailored to the grower’s unique environment and crop. See video here: tree cover


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Our Turnkey Project service has been developed to assist clients during all phases of their projects, from planning and design all the way through to construction and implementation.  Our training and agronomy support is designed to be project-specific and hands-on so that the client is well versed in his own structures and unique situation.

To gain a better understanding of Haygrove and our outstanding products please watch this introductory video: Intro Haygrove

Haygrove South Africa Pty Ltd

Tel:    +27 (0)21 859 1026
Fax:    +27 (0)86 646 3686
e-mail: info@haygrove.co.za
Website: www.haygrove.co.za


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Haygrove new Tree cover shade net structure

Haygrove Shade net Tree Cover

See a video on the Haygrove Tree shade net structure here:

The Haygrove Shade net cover is uniquely flexible and upgradeable. Innovative design has resulted in a decrease in cost/m2 and offers growers the ability to completely remove the net with ease and all from the ground. This allows optimum light penetration and better pollination when needed during fruit set. The arched structure allows more consistent light penetration through the net into the crop canopy. The arched structure has an additional 35% more air volume than a flat top structure of the same leg height. Structures are designed to also be moveable by using legs augured into the ground and held in position by anchor plates and cables. Leg heights can vary from 1.25m, through to 4,5m, providing unmatched air volumes and the ability to cover larger tree crops maximum apex height is 7.5m. The frame is built using imported extra strength high tensile pre-galvanized steel. Each structure’s specification is tailored to the grower’s unique environment and crop.

            Key Features


  • Flexible Bay widths from 7.5m to 10.0m to match crop row spacing


  • Follows the natural contours of the land – can therefore tolerate most gradients


  • Built to any length.


  • Superior light penetration and hail-shedding abilities.


  • Net can be removed and re-installed with ease.


  • Easy and quick construction
Comparison between New Haygrove shade net cover and traditional pole and cable
Pole and cable Haygrove shade net tree cover
Limited Air volume Significant larger air volume (+-35%)
Potential pollination issues Top net easily removed to provide optimal pollination
Disease pressure higher due to smaller air volume Larger air volume decreases disease pressure
Closed design with no extra ventilation options Nets easily removed for total ventilation.
Limitation in design flexibility Design Flexibility wrt bay width, leg heights
Excessive hail can cause structural damage. Effective shedding of hail due to curvature of hoop- less damage to structures
Variable shading % due to sun angle and flat top Curved top allows more constant shading – esp if N-S  orientated
Structure design is fixed Structure has many upgrade and retrofit options
Fixed construction Structure is moveable – no concrete required
Design not suited for high winds Galvanised high tensile steel structure – built to withstand strong winds and weather conditions
Relatively high construction cost/time Construction is cheap and quick


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Creative farming methods in Haygrove structure for water saving

An extract from a recent article in the engineering news.  Read the full article by clicking on the link below:

Amid extreme weather, regulatory barriers and import competition, South African farmers need to think creatively about farming practices – not only to reduce costs but also preserve an environment that is struggling under the pressures of a growing global population, says agriculture infrastructure supplier Haygrove South Africa marketing and sales consultant Jana Loubser.

Using Haygrove’s agricultural tunnel structures, one such farmer – integrated agricultural products supplier Full Circle owner Cobus Pienaar – is using deep water culture (DWC) hydroponic farming to produce 26 550 heads of butter lettuce weekly in the Elgin Valley, in the Western Cape. These are supplied to large retailers that include Woolworths and Spar, meeting increased consumer demand for organic produce while mitigating the cost implications of rising inorganic fertiliser and energy prices.


Seedlings are secured on floating rafts with their roots suspended in pools of nutrient-rich, oxygenated water and matured to harvest. The system is housed in Haygrove’s multispan polytunnel structures, providing controlled, optimum conditions for the crop.

“The system is completely organic, requiring no chemical fertilisers or sprays, and uses integrated pest management, where mostly beneficial bacteria are used to protect and fight against intrusive bacteria and viruses,” highlights Pienaar.

He adds that an attractive feature of the DWC system is that a significant number of crops can be produced in a smaller area, with planting densities of up 25 plants for every square metre made possible in certain instances.


The system is also water-wise, with as little as between 144 m and 250 m of water used to grow each head of lettuce. Water is sourced from a natural stream that runs through the property and is recirculated to eliminate any discharge into the environment. The system is also designed to optimise energy consumption, with the whole 1 ha system operating on 4.5 kW of power.

Loubser adds that the Haygrove structure design features roof vents to allow for passive venting and efficient gas exchange. In addition, the tunnel is 6 m high, ensuring a large internal air volume for effective temperature and moisture management. The roping system that keeps the polythene in place makes it suitable for high wind areas, while the insect net that is used for the side skirts of the tunnel around the perimeter provides an effective barrier against insect ingress when combined with a double-door entry system.

The tunnel is also covered in specialised diffusing polyethylene plastic, which optimises plant growth, filters out the infrared light produced by the sun – which can cause sunburn on plants – and effectively manages temperature spikes.


The project was started in 2011 and expanded in 2015, with a second phase of expansion planned towards the end of this year. This phase will see the integration of an aquaponic component, in which fish will be used to generate water-soluble organic nutrients that will form the basis of the hydroponic system.

“South Africa is one of the most innovative countries when it comes to agriculture, as a result of the varied growing conditions here. Many of the technologies used by Haygrove’s clients around the world originated here and we are proud to be involved in these developments,” says Loubser.

Haygrove has a dedicated research and development team that gathers information and ideas from Haygrove agents and growers globally using this insight as the basis of new products, which are developed and trialled before being made commercially available. Loubser highlights that some of the company’s latest tunnel innovations include full-length, top-roller venting and increased bay widths.

The company has also launched a new range of shade-net structures that compete pricewise with traditional pole and cable structures while offering advantages such as the option to upgrade to polythene and increased internal air volume.

“Flexibility has always been key to the Haygrove structures and, consequently, many of our design features can be retrofitted. This means a grower with a tight budget can cover a larger area initially and then finance upgrades from the increased production.”


Haygrove has also created a product for emerging farmers and community projects called Farm-in-a-box kits. They provide users with everything they need to start a small tunnel farm or backyard garden, including an irrigation system, worm farm, heirloom seed and garden tool set. The kit is completely organic and designed to be self-sustainable.

Read the full article here:


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Haygrove tunnels retrofit options

Haygrove tunnels have a number of retro fit options available to existing clients. These options can be fitted to most of our existing structures and are the result of ongoing research and development into providing an even more optimum growing environment for your crops.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss specific needs.

Steel Gutters

  • Enables planting in the legrows – more efficient use of your valued m2
  • Provides a massive water capture area.
  • Prevents waterlogging of soil in leg rows.
  • Eliminate erosion inside your tunnels

017 Steel Gutters

Roller top Venting

  • Opens 2.5m from gutter
  • Very efficient removal of heat
  • Very effective temperature and humidity control
  • Quicker and easier than standard manual venting

Roller Venting IMG-20170202-WA0021

Doors – Simple shade net

  • Simple and effective
  • Acts as a wind break
  • Allows air movement through the tunnels for ventilation
  • Protects plants at the entrance to your tunnel

shade net doors

Doors – Roller

  • Allows partial opening from bottom up to allow venting in degrees.
  • Allows full access to implements
  • Can be covered in plastic or shade net.
  • Provides a good seal to trap heat.

Super Solo with roller doors

Doors – Hinged double

  • Can be covered with plastic or net
  • Allows access for just personnel or open both for full access


double hinged doors


  • Considerable improvements on climate control
  • Enables plants to transpire for longer
  • Creates a more favourable micro climate for plants
  • Combination of polythene and screens to diffuse light and create shade and reduce temperatures.
  • Possible to automate. Link to sensors for light, temp, humidity

Side skirts

  • Shade net side skirts act as a wind break, but allowing air movement through the tunnels for sufficient ventilation
  • Insect net sides, reduce the risk of pests entering your tunnels, also acts as a windbreak.
  • Woven transparent side skirts seal off your tunnel on the sides protecting your crop from wind and retaining heat.

 Insect net Shade net


  • Electric motors fitted to roller doors, top vents, screens and side skirts.
  • Can be linked to sensors

Mechanical sides IMG-20170202-WA0032Please contact Haygrove to discuss different options: 021 8591026 or info@haygrove.co.za

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Haygrove Trellis Series proving their worth in Namibia

Haygrove Tunnels recently supplied a Trellis series structure to Mr Piet Van Zyl outside Windhoek in Namibia.

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25-01-2017 007 - CopyMr van Zyl and his son Paul constructed the tunnels themselves, with minimal assistance from a Haygrove technician.  Haygrove has always strived to provide the best growing environment using advanced technology combined with simple designs and all kudos go to Piet and Paul, who did an excellent job with no previous experience.

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Most of the production accessories such as grow bags, substrate and chemicals were supplied by Haygrove.  It was decided to use Haifa Multicote controlled release fertilizer – a decision which has since borne fruits – literally and figuratively!   The Van Zyls also installed their own irrigation, using design principles supplied by Haygrove as a support service.

The structures have performed very well thus far and its safe to say the Van Zyls first cucumber crop has performed beyond expectations.  Piet did all due diligence and has managed structures and crop with great attention to detail, which always reduces the risk in any endeavour.  Well done to them and congratulation!

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Technologies for Improved Greenhouse Tunnel Management.

Increasingly challenging weather patterns combined with increased demand from markets has resulted in many open-field producers moving to production under cover – be it Shade net or polythene.

While there is no doubt about the myriad advantages of producing under cover, these structures do come with associated management challenges, mostly centred around fertigation and the management of the micro climate that the structure provides.

If these are not correctly managed, disease, pests and deficiencies can mitigate all of the potential gains resulting in heavy financial blows to the grower.

Fortunately, though, technology is available to help even the novice undercover grower.

We will take a brief look at some of these, by breaking them down into two sections namely Fertigation and Climate control, with the aim of promoting awareness of the tools available.  For more in-depth information, feel free to contact Haygrove and speak to our consultants in this regard.

Fertigation – this includes irrigation as well as nutrient provision through the irrigation water. (Hydroponics)  The most common system in use is substrate in pots, where plants are fed salt-based nutrients though a drip irrigation system.  The challenge here is to supply enough water and nutrients at the correct times, without a build-up of salts in the substrate.  The limited growth media volume makes this a tricky balancing act.  It is essential to know what the moisture content, as well as the EC (Electro conductivity) of the growth media is, throughout the day, in order to provide for the plants water and nutrient needs, as well as to ensure there is sufficient flushing of the substrate.

Combined ph and ec meter

Combined ph and ec meter


Tools available for this are:

  • Handheld moisture meters
  • Ph meters (Hand held or continuous logging)
  • EC meters (Hand held or continuous logging)
  • Capacitance probes (Continous logging)
Handheld probe

Handheld probe


Handheld instruments are handy for spot checks and are generally quite cheap.  Used correctly and with good records kept, they are a powerful tool.  However, they require discipline and the data needs to be manually analysed, which can be challenging in a larger production unit.

Continuous loggers, while more expensive, have the benefit of being linked to software and/or mobile apps that are able to analyse the data and provide growers with instant alarms based on predetermined parameters.  They can also be linked to irrigation timers and fertilizer dosing pumps in order to automatically make changes.  Another benefit is the building of history and various analytical report functions available from many of the apps or software packages.  Many of these packages are cloud-based and are accessible anywhere at any time.  Capacitance moisture probes can also measure moisture (and often also EC) content at various depths within the pot which makes the particularly useful, both for fertigation and disease management.



Capacitane Probe

Capacitane Probe



Climate Control – this encompasses the processes to manage and manipulate the micro-climate in the greenhouse.  The most important data here is air temperature (both inside and outside), leaf temperature, Relative humidity and dew point temperature inside the tunnel.  This set of data is used to ensure correct and adequate venting as well as to manage disease.  Inadequate or incorrect venting is often the cause of many of the problems associated with greenhouse tunnels, and is one of the least understood principles – possibly because it is an alien concept to open-field growers.

Tools available to assist are:

  • Weather station (an almost indispensable tool in any larger production unit)
  • Temperature sensors inside the structures. (Continuous logging and linked to station)
  • Humidity sensors. (Handheld or Continuous logging
  • Infrared temperature sensors to measure leaf temperature. (Handheld or continuous)
  • Pocket weather stations (Eg Kestrel 3000) which can provide multiple data sets such as Temp/hum/wind/dew point temperature
Kestrel- 3000

Kestrel- 3000

Weather Station

Weather Station


Once again, handheld instruments are cheaper and are quite user friendly as well as having the advantage of being able to be used on multiple sites.  Many of the better weather stations can be linked to wireless temp/humidity sensors inside the greenhouse and can also be linked to weather software able to provide analytic reports and keep weather history.  These apps are available for viewing from any smart device or computer.  Alarms can be sent to the grower or his managers, warning of danger conditions such as excessive heat, high winds, heavy rain or excessive humidity, enabling swift action to be taken.  Likewise, forecasts for weather and disease conditions are available from many of the better systems.  Forecasts can also be used for planning spraying days and help in irrigation scheduling.

With the correct applicable technology, the growers level of management can be greatly enhanced and he is able to react proactively as opposed to reactively.  Costly mistakes can be avoided and both yields and produce quality can be improved.  It must be borne in mind though, that data by itself is useless.  The power lies in interpreting the data and reacting to those interpretations.

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Haygrove sees a surge in interest from emerging growers

Haygrove has experienced a noticeable increase in the interest shown by first-time tunnel growers. This is attributed to a number of factors, such as erratic weather conditions and increased pressure from markets.  There is also a surge in interest from home-growers wishing to produce their own organic vegetables for home consumption.

Our wide range of structures caters to all these needs – from the tiny 2mX4m Home greenhouse to the multi-hectare trellising structures for intensive producers.

We recently attended the African Farmers Workshop in Muldersdrift where our “Farm in a box” concept was very well received by a number of NGO’s and government departments.IMG-20150506-WA004 IMG-20150507-WA030 IMG-20150507-WA031 IMG-20150519-WA001

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Tomatoes in Haygrove Trellis tunnel

Recently Haygrove South Africa constructed a fully sealed greenhouse for a tomato producer.

IMG-20140829-WA0001Specifications of the tunnel: 4 590 Square meter Haygrove Trellis Series tunnels. Twelve bays of 8.5m wide and 45m long.


4.4m Lattice Support Brackets included for one road at top of tunnel.


Fully closed on both gable ends with roller woven polythene and insect net. Side skirts with woven polythene and insect net both locked under the gutter and dug into the ground.


Steel gutters on each leg row


Two insect net, double door quaranteen areas outside of the tunnel on both sides of the tunnel road way. Full construction by a Haygrove team!

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Haygrove South Africa 4-Series tunnels

Delivering continuity of grade one produce to the end consumer is the mission of every fruit, vegetable and flower grower. It was this mission in mind that we set out in the mid-nineties to try to find a low cost solution to problems that be-devil every grower, the weather!

Our major aim at the time was to get some continuity of supply to meet our marketing programmes. The outcome after several years of testing was to design a low cost tunnel system that we could afford to build over many acres, drive tractors through and manage in many different climates.

The tunnels have shown up many benefits; significant yield gains, superior quality, frost and hail protection, wind protection, reduction in scorch and bleaching of produce, guaranteed harvest days, significant reductions in the need of pesticides and most of all a significant improved ability to deliver marketing programmes.

For more information please email info@haygrove.co.za


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A berry bright future – A unique AgriBEE project in the Hemel en Aarde valley

Standfirst: A unique AgriBEE project in the Hemel en Aarde valley is empowering its farm workers to sell berries to the parent company from their own co-operative businesses. To read the full article please CLICK HERE.

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