An exciting new market has opened up for CCA-treated poles - to hold up the shade cloth that many farmers are now using to protect their trees and crops.
The shade cloth diminishes evaporation by trapping moisture, which helps farmers adapt to the wide-spread water shortages imposed by the long-standing drought. Most of South Africa receives intense sunshine, so there is enough light under the netting for photosynthesis to occur.
Several of our clients are already taking advantage of this new market for treated timber, which is likely to be a huge one in future, as millions of hectares of farmland stand to benefit from the protection of shade cloth.
In March, Dolphin Bay’s client Imvelo Forests Pull Scar Timber asked us to give a presentation about CCA, the treatment process, and our company as a supplier, to a group of citrus farmers from the Marble Hall area of Limpopo. These farmers have found that using shade cloth improves both the growth of their citrus trees, and the quality of the fruit.
CCA is proving superior to creosote for use with shade cloth, as creosote eats away at the fabric, making it tear. Creosote must therefore be installed along with a protective layer of plastic, which increases the total costs.
At the meeting, Vaughan Lascelles of Imvelo Forests Pull Scar gave a presentation on the best poles for the farmers to use. Teunis Janson from Bundu Poles explained the different hazard classes, why H5 poles are necessary for the farmers’ purposes, and the importance of buying from registered, compliant suppliers.
Representing Dolphin Bay were our laboratory manager Navi Moodley, sales executive Mark Duckham, and Jarome Levendal, our Sabie factory manager and technical advisor. Navi gave a presentation on the history of CCA, explaining why it is the most popular wood preservative, with the longest history of use, and also outlined the high standards we are obliged by legislation to meet.
Representatives of Knittex, the shade cloth manufacturers, also attended.
“The famers had not realised that wood preservative manufacturers, and timber treaters, must adhere to such strict rules, and gain accreditation from certification bodies,” says Mark. “At the end of the meeting, they said felt confident that they would buy a quality product, and would be well looked after, if they bought CCA-treated poles from recognised treaters.
“We are very happy that this new opportunity is opening up for our clients, and that we helped the group of farmers understand why our CCA-treated poles are of such a high quality.”
Said Vaughan Lascelles, general manager at Imvelo Forests Pull Scar: “It was a very good meeting, and opened up the farmers’ minds as to the correct techniques of treating, and the variations of quality depending on who the suppliers are.”
“The level of presentations was very high, and the meeting was very constructive,” said Teunis Janson, owner of Bundu Poles.
Both Imvelo Forests Pull Scar and Bundu Poles had orders from Marble Hall clients after the meeting.