- Success stories and case studies of plastic mulching in India and how to design the right mulch film
- El desarrollo de la agroplasticultura en Iberoamérica: 20 años de actividades del CIDAPA
- Situación actual de la plasticultura en Guatemala
- Use of Photocalysis in Greenhouse film application, and his experimentation in field trials
- Flexible photovoltaïque film for tunnels
- Photoselective shade nets for pepper cultivation in Southeastern Spain
- Agricultural Plastics Secure CEA Ubiquitous Applications in 21st Century
- Innovative Optical Technology for Improved Agriculture Production
- Agricultural plastic mulch film in China: importance and challenge
- Use of soil solarization with polyethylene mulch in integrated management of diseases in ornamental crops
- New experimental results on a black body based soil solarization system
- High barrier film of improved efficiency for soil fumigation
- Evaluation of two degradable mulches in the sweet pepper greenhouse cultivation
- Réduction de l’impact environnemental des solutions agronomiques de paillage et de protection des cultures
- Evaluation of two degradable mulches in the sweet pepper greenhouse cultivation
- Reflective mulching sheets influences citrus tree growth
- Accumulation of (bio)degradable plastics in soil
- How sustainable biodegradable and renewable mulch film are? A quantitative approach in the light of sustainable development goals (SDGs)
- Biodegradable mulch film – clarification of polymer fate in soil
- Biodegradable plastics for improving the soil and fruit quality
- Development and prospect of biodegradable mulch films in China
- Production of Bio-degradable mulch film with innovating sowing solutions as the future for Agriculture
- The use of biodegradable mulching on industry tomatoes in the North Italy
- Agronomic performances of biodegradable films as an alternative to polyethylene mulches in vineyards
- Agronomic performance of biodegradable mulch films in China, especially on potato
- Primary success of biodegradable mulch films on potato production in China
- Contribution of plastic film mulching to China’s food security
- Agricultural plastic mulch film application in China
- Effect and challenge of plastic films mulching on cotton production in China
- Designing a new generation of smart agricultural plastics with improved performances and intrinsic recycling properties
Success stories and case studies of plastic mulching in India and how to design the right mulch film
In India there are more than 200 mulch film manufacturers. Many of the producers have no idea about the use of specific properties in plastic and its significance in the yield of vegetables.
This presentation will share the success stories of our farmers in India with a message to manufacturers how to design a right mulch for optimum performance in field.
Keywords: Mulching film, vegetable cultivation, Indian plasticulture
El desarrollo de la agroplasticultura en Iberoamérica: 20 años de actividades del CIDAPA
El continente americano es un maravilloso espacio para el desarrollo de la agroplasticultura, con una extraordinaria variedad de condiciones agro climatológicas, que representan verdaderos retos para la agricultura y para el uso de los materiales plásticos, tanto para la producción vegetal, como para la producción animal, respetando nuestro medio ambiente.
En estos 20 años de actividades del Comité Iberoamericano para el Desarrollo y Aplicación de los Plásticos en la Agricultura (CIDAPA), que comenzó por la iniciativa de investigadores y científicos de España y que contó con la rápida respuesta, positiva y entusiasta, de técnicos y especialistas de América, se conformó esta organización que ha seguido y promovido el desarrollo de la agroplasticultura en América y en la Península Ibérica a lo largo de todo este tiempo.
Con humildad, pero también con mucha satisfacción por el trabajo realizado, se pueden mostrar ejemplos y cifras, que respaldan el desarrollo de la agroplasticultura en este lado del mundo, desde el norte del Canadá hasta los extremos de la Patagonia, entre Chile y la Argentina, pasando por climas muy fríos, en zonas casi polares, a través de regiones con clima templado y subtropical, hasta llegar a las zonas cálidas de los trópicos.
Situación actual de la plasticultura en Guatemala
El presente trabajo se elabora con el propósito de dar a conocer la situación actual de la utilización de los plásticos en la agricultura en Guatemala, país localizado en Centro América. La plasticultura ha tendido un crecimiento notable en los últimos años, se estimaba que para el año 2010 se producían flores de corte, hortalizas, semillas y otros, en 550 hectáreas de invernaderos; en la temporada 2014-2015 alrededor de 11,135 hectáreas de acolchado de suelos predominando melón (Cucumis melo) en un 50%, cerca de 685 hectáreas de malla sombra predominando leather leaf (Rumohra adiantiformis) y 28,130 hectáreas de producción de banano (Musa sp) con fundas o embolse de polietileno y tela no tejida de polipropileno.
Una de las aplicaciones que está teniendo notable crecimiento es la utilización de la tela no tejida de polipropileno, como cubierta flotante, macrotuneles, microtuneles y fundas para banano, no se dispone de información confiable en superficie, sin embargo es notable la utilización en cultivos como tomate (Lycopersicon esculentum), chile (Capsicum annum), ejote francés (Phaseolus vulgaris), conocido también como “haricot verts” que significa ejote verde en francés y recientemente cebolla (Allium cepa).
Con base en la Ley FSMA (Ley de Modernización de la Inocuidad Alimentaria) de la FDA de Estados Unidos, la productores de banano y plátano (Musa spp), deben proteger sus Plantas Empacadoras del posible ingreso de animales, aves, personas, por lo tanto, se están utilizando mallas extruidas de plástico con dimensiones de orificios de 21 x 21 mm, que permiten el paso de aire, contacto con agua y químicos sin dañarse.
Keywords: Agroplasticultura, Invernaderos, Acolchado Guatemala.
Use of Photocalysis in Greenhouse film application, and his experimentation in field trials
Use of photo-catalytic materials in greenhouse film application can influence important crop growth factors and their control enhances harvest productivity and quality. Three years trials of tomatoes vertically growth under this new cover film allowed to observe very interesting effects inside greenhouses, which becomes benefits for farmers. In particular, we noted a significant reduction of fungal charge inside greenhouse atmosphere due to an antimicrobial effect of the film, which allows a less use of fungicides. In addition, a permanent lowering of water dripping due to vapour condensation on the cover film, because of more hydrophilic surface of the film, preventing damage on the plants. Finally, a significant increase of light diffusion which ensures a faster growth of plants, a more homogenous light distribution on vertically crop and a reduction of direct light on plant tops preventing their burning. The synergic action of the observed effects creates a healthier atmosphere inside the greenhouse producing benefit for growers in terms of faster growth, higher crops yields and quality.
Keywords: photo-catalysis, antimicrobial, permanent Antifog, light Diffusion, nano Technology
Flexible photovoltaïque film for tunnels
Solar Cloth System has developed a photovoltaic film integration system (thin film) on a textile-based composite. The final product is thin, light and very flexible, which allows it to be rolled up and unrolled many times (tested up to 15,000 rolled up / unwound without loss of energy performance). It can be sewn and processed and handled as all technical textiles are. The innovation was tested and qualified in 2017-2018 by the CNES (French National Space Center) for use in the form of solar sail deployed from stratospheric balloons at 40,000m altitude, in an area near space where the thermal shocks are rigorous. The innovation, embedded into a racing sail, has also been successfully tested in a sailing race around the world in 2016-2017 Vendée Globe via Cap Horn. Solar Cloth System works in scientific partnership with the MINES-ParisTech for the monitoring and the monitoring of prototype photovoltaic curtains installed in the experimental greenhouses of INRA-Agrobiotech of Sophia Antipolis.
Photoselective shade nets for pepper cultivation in Southeastern Spain
The high temperatures that occur during the summer in the Southeast of Spain produce a reduction of and difficulties in the setting of the fruits of pepper (Capsicum annuum); as a consequence there is a decrease in the crop yield and quality. The use of shading nets can induce a drop in temperature, and consequently a decrease in the incidence of malformations in fruits produced by excess radiation in the summer months. The photoselective shade nets currently available contain spectral filters with differential light-scattering properties that alter the red/far-red wave-band (R/FR) ratio. The actual functions of colored shade nets depend on the chromatic additives incorporated into the plastic and the knitting design. The physiological responses linked to light, such as photosynthesis and photomorphogenesis, produce effects on stem growth, leaf expansion, chloroplast development, chlorophyll synthesis, secondary metabolites, and harvest time. The objective of this work was to study the behavior of a pepper crop with an extra-late cycle grown under various photo-selective shading nets, placed on simple greenhouse structures. The nettings used were: silver in color with 30% shading, pearl with 30% shading, red with 30% shading, red with 40% shading, and black with 30% shading, using as reference the crop without shading. The initial results show that with the photoselectivity provided by the pearl-colored netting with 30% shading, the fruits were harvested earlier and the yield was greatest, followed by that of the plants cultivated under the silver-colored netting with 30% shading. For the red-colored netting, the results were similar for the 30 and 40% shading, being inferior to those of the pearl and silver nettings. However, the nutritional values of the fruits, both those harvested when green and those harvested when red, were best with the silver-colored photoselective mesh. It is worth highlighting that it was the contents of Fe, K, Na, Mg, Mn, and Zn that differed most greatly between the different shade net treatments and according to the maturation at harvest (red or green fruits).
Keywords: shade netting, crop protection, precocity, greenhouse tunnel
Agricultural Plastics Secure CEA Ubiquitous Applications in 21st Century
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) production of food crops has become more technical, computerized, and integrated into environmental, social and economic aspects of business and community development. It has spanned the extreme climates of the world from arid deserts to the frozen Antarctic to the food deserts of modern urban life, and even into low Earth orbit on the International Space Station. CEA has ensured safe, clean, sustaining nutrition for the people it serves. It has become a value-added complement for open field agriculture to meet the challenges of future world climates. Its success is directly attributed to use of plastics. The greenhouse is multi-purposed, and flexible in its applications. It is a biological processor, taking in natural resources and providing plants and plant products for a better quality of life. It is a natural solar energy converter, a provider of biological storage, which combines bioresources through biochemical processes for CO2 sequestration and oxidation by respiration. It establishes an ecosystem and controllable plant microclimate separated from the local natural environmental conditions. It creates new plant life and products such as edible biomass by enhancing the natural genetic potential of a plant. The greenhouse operations can also be a mechanism that brings the community together for social activities, while its year-round operation can become an agricultural jobs creator. It is a complex tool recognized by the policy-makers for improving the economy, the employment, nutrition/health and the markets within the food chain. Research projects completed at UA-CEAC which were successful because of plastics, will be the focus of this presentation, including: Greenhouse environment modified by glazing’s (solar PV, spectral changing) and control systems; Nutrient delivery procedures (NFT, Deepwater-Floating Raft, Top-drip fertigation); Production system designs for improved quality of life applications (new plant-based businesses, urban agriculture, life support for Moon and Mars habitats).
Keywords: plastics, CEA, hydroponics, greenhouse, business development
Innovative Optical Technology for Improved Agriculture Production
One approach to improve yields and reduce the costs of agriculture production involves the use of special agricultural films which promote increased levels of photosynthesis for algae and plants. Exploiting more than twenty years of research by a French research laboratory, the company CASCADE has developed optically active additives for greenhouse films which accelerate the natural process of photosynthesis. Only a fraction of natural solar radiation is useful for photosynthesis, particularly light with wavelengths between 400 and 500 nm (blue light) and 600 to 700 nm (red light). CASCADE’s optically active additives convert a portion of the solar spectrum not advantageous to plants into wavelengths that stimulate photosynthesis, leading to improved crop productivity. The additives have been designed for incorporation in polyolefins used in agricultural greenhouse films. To evaluate plant reaction to CASCADE doped films, CASCADE has developed a crop per crop approach. It is closely working with two French research laboratories, INRA for plants and CEA Cadarache for Algae, and a leading agricultural film manufacturer, AGRIPOLYANE. After 4 years of agronomic trials in different European regions, results on Melon and Primeur Potato (Noirmoutier) crops have been positive showing precocity (up to more than 8 days), significant crop yield gains under poor weather conditions (up to +50%) and enhanced crop quality. Other crops are being evaluated such as berries, roses or tomatoes. A first commercial film offer for Melon and Primeur Potato is being prepared for later 2018 via AGRIPOLYANE, CASCADE first industrial partner.
Agricultural plastic mulch film in China: importance and challenge
In the past 30years, plastic mulching film has become one of the most widely applied agronomic practice in China. Its coverage region has extended from arid and semi-arid area in North China to high mountains in South China, and type of mulching plants increased from mainly vegetable and flowers, to most kinds of cash and grain crops, including peanut, watermelon, sugarcane, tobacco, corn, wheat, rice and maize. Studies showed that till to 2015, annual coverage area and usage quantity of mulching films in China has increased to approximately 20 million hectares and 1.4 million tons, respectively. Based on its prominent effect on maintaining soil temperature and moisture, and prohibiting weed growth, application of film mulching technology significantly increased grain and cash crop yield by about 20–60%. However, apart from its benefit, pollutions caused by mulch film residues were of equal inevitability. At intensive mulching areas in China, amount of mulching residues in the field has accumulated to about 50–260 kg/hm2, causing serious damage soil structures, blocking infiltration of water and nutrients, and suppressing growth of plant seedling, thus threatens sustainable agricutural development. To counteract with the problem, the Chinese government has established new plastic film standards. Meanwhile, comprehensive research and investigation on biodegradable mulch film and high efficient recovery machineries were taken place in institutions and companies, which will surely be helpful to control and counteract mulch residues pollution.
Keywords: plastic mulch film, film residues pollution, new plastic film standards, biodegradable mulch film, film residue recovery machinery
Thematics: Vegetable production
Title: Use of soil solarization with polyethylene mulch in integrated management of diseases in ornamental crops
Author(s): Dr Harender Raj Gautam / Y.S.Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry
Use of soil solarization with polyethylene mulch in integrated management of diseases in ornamental crops
In India, approximately 30, 000 ha is under protected cultivation and there is lot of potential for the use of plastic in agriculture.
New experimental results on a black body based soil solarization system
Commonly, in order to control weeds, pests and pathogens, it uses the chemical method of fumigation for soil sterilization that sometimes is dangerous for environment and human health. Alternatively, the well-known soil solarization method guaranties a good soil sterilization, but it requires long times of treatment (about 60 days) which farmers cannot accept because their production rates.
Recently, we introduced an improvement of traditional solarization, which is a black body based soil solarization system (B3S3), in order to exploit furtherly the solar heat with the increasing of temperatures in the soil and, as a consequence, to reduce the times (20-30 days). The innovation consists in the use of a biodegradable black liquid to spray on the soil during the solarization practice, working as a solar collector, able to increase drastically the soil temperature at different depts. A critical point of the new method is represented by the black liquid to spray on the soil that is very difficult to manage because it requires huge quantity (water and black base material) for hectare. The idea is to look for a formulation able to condense drastically the black material, to dissolve in water for soil irrigation, according to the solarization practice. Here, we present our research activity in this contest. We analyzed different carbon black powders, we investigated several formulations to select that one with proper chemical and physical properties, able to satisfy the requirements for a spread practice in agriculture. Finally, we focused on a promising formulation and tested it arranging a trial under greenhouse, comparing the traditional soil solarization with the new one measuring the temperatures, at different depth in the soil, collected for 30 days with a rate of 10 minutes. We report the experimental results that confirm the huge potentialities of B3S3 as a concrete alternative at the use of the fumigation. The challenge is to introduce in agriculture our innovative solarization method that is at least as efficient as fumigation but harmless, highly efficient, biodegradable, easy to use and very cheap.
Keywords: Soil sterilisation solar collector
High barrier film of improved efficiency for soil fumigation
In the world and particularly in Europe, the use of gas barrier films in soil fumigation is increasingly recommended or could be mandatory for new fumigants and for existing products for which authorizations have been re-evaluated. ARKEMA global chemical producer, has developed a new and effective soil fumigant based on dimethyl disulfide (DMDS).
This technology is a pre-plant soil fumigant that is very effective against nematodes parasites, weeds, and soil-borne plant pathogens. After its application, efficiency is maximized if the DMDS content within the soil is maintained at its optimum concentration by covering the field with a gas barrier film. A multilayer gas barrier film has been industrially produced by using a high performance tie layer, OREVAC®, and EVOH gas barrier material, marketed under EVASIN® trade name. The film barrier properties to DMDS have been evaluated in multiple humidity and temperature conditions and mass transfer coefficient has been calculated. Comparisons with polyamide-based film have also been carried out. Studies regarding the recyclability have confirmed that the film containing EVOH could be recycled in the ADIVALOR chain. As a conclusion, high barrier multilayer film tested by ARKEMA improved efficiency of DMDS-based fumigation. This technology offers to the agricultural sector a complete solution for soil fumigation. Since this film can be produced with widths up to 10 meters wide, this gas barrier film can be used either in greenhouse or in open field.
Keywords: Soil fumigation
Thematics: Vegetable production
Title: Evaluación de la dinamica de absorción de calcio, magnesio y azufre en el cultivo de la cebolla (allium cepa l.), en suelo con acolchado plástico, caserío el rodeo, el progreso, jutiapa, guatemala, c.a.
Evaluación de la dinamica de absorción de calcio, magnesio y azufre en el cultivo de la cebolla (allium cepa l.), en suelo con acolchado plástico, caserío el rodeo, el progreso, jutiapa, guatemala, c.a..
Se evaluó el efecto del acolchado plástico en el cultivo de cebolla (Allium cepa L.), sobre la absorción de calcio, magnesio y azufre; así también sobre el rendimiento y calidad, para lo cual se utilizó un diseño experimental de parcelas apareadas con 12 repeticiones. Los tratamientos fueron con acolchado y sin acolchado. Las variables respuesta fueron el rendimiento, calidad, y contenido nutricional (Ca, Mg, S). Para determinar el contenido nutricional se realizaron 7 muestreos, los cuales se tomaron a los 0 (plántulas), 15, 33, 56, 71, 84 y 98 días después del trasplante. El rendimiento y calidad fueron analizadas estadísticamente mediante un análisis de covarianza simple debido a la irregularidad del número de plantas ocasionado por la Tormenta tropical Ágata. El experimento se realizó en el caserío El Rodeo, municipio de El Progreso, Jutiapa, Guatemala, C.A.
Los resultados indicaron que el uso de acolchado plástico comparado con el cultivo en suelo sin acolchar, incrementó el rendimiento total en 18.92% y en 38.06% la proporción de bulbos de primera calidad. Así también se mejoró la eficiencia de aprovechamiento de fertilizantes, con incrementos de 52.34%, 24.80% y 67.33% para calcio, magnesio y azufre respectivamente.
Keywords: Acolchado plástico, cebolla, absorción, nutrientes
Réduction de l’impact environnemental des solutions agronomiques de paillage et de protection des cultures
The global use of agricultural plastic films, which includes films used for greenhouses, mulching, and silage, is expected to grow 69% from 4.4 million tons in 2012 to 7.4 million tons in 2019. This increase is due to benefits such as increase in soil temperature, reduced weed pressure, moisture conservation, reduction of certain insect pests, higher crop yields, earliness and more efficient use of soil nutrients. Today, many questions appear concerning the use of these plastic solutions in agriculture, mainly concerning their environmental effects. In this presentation, we aim at explaining the reduction of the impact of plastic solutions on environment. First, as a major player in the recycling of used plastic films from household film, to industrial films and agricultural films, the manufacturing of high quality agricultural films using recycled materials has increased. Integrated in the circular economy, the use of post-consumption raw materials enables to produce in a more sustainable way. Furthermore, removal and recycling of some plastic solutions such as mulching films, with a low thickness, are very complicated due to a high contamination with soil and water. These used plastics are then difficult to recycle and to integrate in new products. They will be at some point forbidden for recycling and will be put in landfill. For polyethylene films in low thickness, alternatives are developed using biodegradable raw materials. The biodegradation of the films produced with biodegradable materials leads to carbon dioxide and water through microbial activity. These biodegradable materials are mainly applied as mulching film for different cultures and cultivation process.
Keywords: Circular economy – Biodegradable materials
Evaluation of two degradable mulches in the sweet pepper greenhouse cultivation
The experiment with the degradable soil mulches used in pepper cultivation in plastic greenhouse was carried out in 2012 and 2013 on the field of the Vegetable Experimantal Station, Agriculture University of Kraków. Three kinds of polyprophylene nonwoven were used: PP Agro ; PP with 0,02% photoactivator and PLA (all with the surface mass 50 g m-2). The control treatment were the plots without mulching. The transplants were planted in four replication during the first decade of May.
The plants at the beginning grow slightly faster on the mulched plots and generated quite bigger number of the flowers then the controled plants. The marketable yield gained in both years was similar on the plots mulched with PP Agro, PLA and PP with photoactivator respectively in comparison with the noncovered ones. Content of ascorbic acid in both years was slightly different but the synthesis of dry mass and sugars was on the same level in all treatments. On the end of the experiment the analysis of the degradation of applied during two seans nonwovens was performed by the using measuring of tensile by tensile test machines and by the using estimation of supramolecular structure changes by wide angle X-ray diffraction.
Keywords: mulch, sweet pepper, microclimate, yield, degradation
This results are small part of finished project BIOGRATEX (2011-2014), connected with development of different matherials (mulches, flat covers, strings) and methods of degradable nonwovens application in horticulture.
Reflective mulching sheets influences citrus tree growth
We compared the effects of bare ground (control) and coverd different reflective mulching sheets on light environment, soil temperature and plant growth in a citrus orchard (lime, sudachi, new citrus cultivar `Haruhi`) from 2014-2017. The results showed that the reflective mulch sheets had the greatest light quantity at 1 m above the ground, out of the crown. Light quantity was reduced in the crown over the bare ground, and the level of light at 0 m and 1 m above the ground increased with the application of the mulching sheets. Crown of these cultivars grew proceeded by the sheets. The growth varied depending on the type of sheets. The coverd soil temperature was warmer than control in the spring. In summary, applying mulching sheets in a citrus orchard changed the profile of the light environment inside and outside the crown, soil temperature, and the growth of citrus tree growth were also altered by the different ground covers.
Keywords: light environment, reflective mulching sheets, citrus, soil temperature
Nowadays, mulching is an essential technique used in agriculture to satisfy the worldwide growing demand for agricultural products. It consists of covering the soil surface in order to modify climate conditions and favouring the crops. Conventional mulch is made of polyethylene plastic with important limitations: the plastic has to be removed after the harvest (time consuming, expensive & 10-20% remaining at soil) and it is difficult to be recycled due to its high contamination by ground, stones or waste, being the most part (45.2%) placed in landfills. Therefore, plastic mulches cause serious problems of environmental and economic concerns. Other developed mulch alternatives are not sufficient: oxodegradable (based on polyethylene, are a risk of accumulation in environment) and biodegradable (do not guarantee total degradation under uncontrolled conditions and they are three times more expensive).
There is a market demand to find alternatives. Our innovative product, BIOMULCH, will be a biobased mulch with controlled biodegradation (independent from temperature, humidity and soil conditions) and being cost competitive covering the current agriculture market needs. BIOMULCH will be commercialised as a kit and will guarantee the farmers the complete mulch film biodegradation when is exactly required by them. The mulch film will be fully degraded in a 30-40 days period with our innovative mulching technique.
As a result, it is expected an important growth for consortium companies, obtaining a total turnover above €354M in 2018-2022. Also it is expected an important benefit for UE, above 759M euros by 2022, derived from savings for farmers and waste savings. BIOMULCH counts already with letters of support of prestigious companies which are very interested in its business model.
Silobolsas en Argentina
El Silo Bolsa, es un tipo de almacenamiento ampliamente utilizado en la República Argentina, fue introducido en el país en el año 1984. Cuando comenzó a utilizarse en Argentina, el sistema de Silo Bolsa fue adaptado rápidamente por el sector agrícola. El 40% de la producción total es almacenada en Silo Bolsa, aproximadamente 38 millones de toneladas de granos.
Es considerado un sistema de almacenaje hermético, que es el factor clave para un almacenamiento exitoso, y temporario, pues el Silo Bolsa no puede reutilizarse. Además, es un sistema de bajo costo y flexible, pues se adapta a climas cálidos y también a zonas frías. Es apto para el almacenamiento de granos, forrajes, semillas, fertilizantes sólidos, subproductos etc.
La hermeticidad del sistema permite la formación de una atmosfera automodificada en el interior del Silo Bolsa, pobre en oxígeno y rica en dióxido de carbono, que favorece la conservación del grano y la semilla, afectando el desarrollo de insectos y hongos perjudiciales para los granos.
Actualmente este paquete tecnológico se exporta a más 50 países, que incluye silo bolsas, embolsadoras, extractoras, carros bolsas descargables y otros equipamientos.
Keywords: silo bolsas, dióxido de carbono, grano, calidad
Alberto Stavisky CAPPA
Accumulation of (bio)degradable plastics in soil
The first part of the presentation will tackle the environmental conditions found in soil and how these affect the biodegradation of mulching films. These conditions will then be compared with other environments like industrial composting and, as the biodegradation behaviour varies from one environment to another, examples will be given of products which do and do not biodegrade in soil. In parallel, also the new European standard EN 17033 will be discussed in detail, highlighting the pass/fail criteria as well as the differences with the already existing OK Biodegradable Soil certification scheme. Next, the presentation will focus on the expert statement OWS wrote for European Bioplastics. This expert statement was published at the beginning of 2017 and takes a closer look at the accumulation of plastics in the soil. Traditionally, mulching films are produced from fossil-based polymers, such as polyethylene (PE).
It is estimated that as much as 68 percent of the mulching film remains on the field since the removal is time consuming and the disposal expensive. This leads to large amounts of non-biodegradable mulch film buried in the soil and accumulating over time, resulting in an average accumulation of 460 kg of mulching film fragments per hectare per decade. Biodegradable mulch films can be ploughed into the soil at the end of the growing season without causing any long-term plastic accumulation.
A typical biodegradable mulching film will biodegrade completely within a maximum of two years, resulting in a maximum accumulation level at plateau phase of 280 kg per hectare, returning to no accumulation whatsoever if cultivation is ceased for two years. The expert statement has also been discussed during a workshop hosted by MEP Margrete Auken at the European Parliament and European Bioplastics actively uses this document in discussions with stakeholders, lawmakers, etc.
How sustainable biodegradable and renewable mulch film are? A quantitative approach in the light of sustainable development goals (SDGs)
Plastic much films represent an important agronomical technique well established for the production of many vegetables thanks to many agronomical advantages Nevertheless, at the end of the crop cycle plastic mulch films need to be properly removed and properly disposed of. This implies collecting and recycling or, where this is not possible, landfilling or incinerating (with energy recovery). The recovered mulch film is generally heavily contaminated with soil, stones and biological waste; this makes mechanical recycling difficult.
In general, the contamination of mulch films represent from 50 to 75% of their initial weight. Occasionally (or in some areas is quite often) plastic films are not properly collected and recycled after their use but disposed of by burning in the field or by uncontrolled landfilling or left directly in the (agricultural) soils. Those practices cause environmental concerns like the well-known White pollution phenomena which is, in absolute, the main environmental, economic and social concern of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (China), for example.
In that (contaminated) areas the residual plastic film mulch levels can reach the order of 200 kg/ha in the top soil (0–20 cm) with detrimental effects on the quality and the fertility of soils. Its resolution needs joined interventions from policy, regulations and technology fields, nevertheless, the replacement of the current not biodegradable plastic mulch films with the biodegradables ones can represent a valuable contribution to reduce the problem. The ONU road map to sustainability – signed in 2015 by 198 countries – indicates 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets to be pursued by governments and private sector from now up to 2030. In this work, a renewable and biodegradable mulch film, whose trade name is Mater-Bi (produced by the Italian company Novamont), was analysed compared to the three pillars of sustainability (i.e. SDGs).
Overall six aspects (indicators) were analysed and discussed: Environment (i.e. biodegradation in soil. SDGs: 14 and 15), renewability (i.e. use of renewable feedstocks. SDGs: 9 and 12 ), Life cycle assessment (i.e. environmental profile along its life cycle; à SDGs: 12 and 13), Product functionality (i.e. functionality of the product; à SDGs: 12 and 16), Product circularity (i.e. how much a product is “circular”; à SDG: 12), conomic aspects (farmers perspective; à SDG: 8). The final aim is to demonstrate how biodegradable and renewable mulch films can represent a feasible and sustainable solution contributing to the ONU road map. The analysis addressed the case history of biodegradable mulch film in Italy on vegetable production.
Keywords: Biodegradable and renewable, mulch film, sustainability, quantitative approach
Title: Biodegradable mulch film – clarification of polymer fate in soil
Author(s): Andreas Kuenkel/BASF
Biodegradable mulch film – clarification of polymer fate in soil
Biodegradable mulch films are used since many years as alternative to PE-mulch film. Biodegradable mulch films need to fulfill two requirements: mechanical performance with stability during the application phase and complete biodegradation of the material after use.
Different technologies have been developed in our recent work to show the fate of the carbon atoms of biodegradable mulch film.
Characterization of the involved microbes, labelling of carbon atoms combined with different analytical methods allows to show exactly where these carbon atoms end up. The recent studies show that ecovio® mulch film is biodegrading and the mass balance of the polymer can be closed.
Biodegradable plastics for improving the soil and fruit quality
Current existing intensive farming practices require the use of large quantities of mulching film and fruit protection bags since they prevent the growth of weeds, regulate soil temperature, retain water and nutrients and protect crops from insects. For these farming practices, single-use conventional non-degradable polymers are used, creating a serious problem of waste management since it is time-consuming, expensive to recycle and, more importantly, is non-environmentally friendly contaminating the environment.
By using biodegradable plastics, this problem could be solved by preventing the creation of waste. The objectives of our study were to produce an innovative biobased and biodegradable plastic film that entirely biodegrades in natural conditions on the field within a short time after their usage and to know it effects in tomato and peach crops. For this purpose, this film has been used to produce both biomulching to which specific oligo elements has been added to test in tomato crops and biobags to protect the fruits from insects and improve quality at harvest in peaches.
Tests carried out on tomato showed that, these new bioplastics improved soil quality by increasing (up to 13%) the concentration of some oligo elements and by decreasing (65%) blossom end rot. In the case of peaches, by using biobags, a uniform colour (without red blush), which is a required characteristic in this type of commodity (Protected Designation of Origin ‘Calanda’) was obtained, with a decrease in both a* colour coordinate (more than 2 points) and carotenoid content (more than 3 µg g-1 fw). Moreover, bioplastics only took 6 months to degrade completely within the soil.
Keywords: Life multibiosol, mulching, fruit protection bag, tomato, peach, biobased film
Development and prospect of biodegradable mulch films in China
China has the largest usage of plastic mulch films in the world, which reached 20 million hectares and 1.4 million tons per year. Plastic mulch film has been one of the most important materials for agricultural production in China. The wide utilization of film mulching has brought about the increase of agricultural production and the change of production modes, however, more and more film residues left in the field also led to the serious “white pollution” threatened sustainable agricultural development.
Investigation on biodegradable mulch films shed important light to overcome the problem. Large scale field experiment was carried out in 11 provinces with the different type biodegradable mulch film provided by 21 enterprises in China on growth of maize, cotton, potato, peanut, vegetable and tobacco, respectively since 2014. The ultimate tensile properties, functional properties (warm and moisture conservation), biodegradability, and economical efficiency of different biodegradable mulch films, in association with safety mulching period of different crops, under distinct environments were evaluated extensively.
Formulations and process operations of biodegradable mulch films were been repetitiously optimized accordingly. Through our great effort, biodegradable mulch films from corresponding industries have been greatly improved, especially in terms of mechanical and functional properties, that generally satisfies crop growing request. Though that high cost and predegradation are still core problems prohibiting wide application. In this study, we systematically reviewed the developing history of biodegradable mulch film in China, extensively discussed its present situation and limitation, and finally enclosed with a bright prospect and challenge of the biodegradable film application in China.
Keywords: Biodegradable mulch film, field experiment, warm and moisture conservation, biodegradability, potato and other crop
Production of Bio-degradable mulch film with innovating sowing solutions as the future for Agriculture
SAMCO design and manufacture specialist machinery and degradable film for the Agricultural crop market. The Original Samco System acts as mini degradable greenhouse, retaining moisture and heat to reduce germination time and increase early root development. This allows early planting in frost prone areas and therefore lengthens the growing season. We test many formulations every season for: laying capacity/ performance crop growth, degradability crop and yield analysis. Tests include data sheet on the following weather conditions: moisture, air temperature, soil temperature, humidity, rain fall, UV levels and wind speed. Samco has developed different types of degradable films to meet the needs best suited for different markets.
Each film is developed and tested in our laboratories and in the field before being marketed commercially. New range started is punch planters for rice cultivation. Rice is very demanding crop in terms of impact on the environment: high quantity of water, herbicides to control of weeds and disease are required to reach good yields. Certified biodegradable materials have been broadly tested for use in rice, primarily to control weeds, reducing to zero the herbicides used for the crop. The results obtained from the first two years of extensive trials in the rice growing area of North West Italy demonstrated that biodegradable mulches can suppress the growth of weeds, and at the same time reducing the quantity of seeds/ha, as well as enabling to reach high yield for a low impact technique.
Furthermore, the use of biodegradable mulches is showing some initial results in terms of reduction of pathogens and volume of water. Samco machines sows seed, place fertiliser or nutrients in the soil and lays a thin layer of Biodegradable Plastic film over the seed bed are develop in computer aided 3D drawing design for new applications according to the customer needs.
Keywords: Bio-degradable mulch film, organic crop
The use of biodegradable mulching on industry tomatoes in the North Italy
Italy is one of the main European producers of processing tomatoes, with an investment of other 70.000 ha, a total yield of over 52 million tons of tomatoes harvested in the 2017, and an average of production of over 7 tons/ha.
About half of this production is located in Northern Italy, in the provinces of Parma, Piacenza, Cremona, Ferrara and Mantova.
CIO started in 2013 to use biodegradable mulch film as a tool to improve the sustainability of processing tomatoes cultivations
The main agronomical goals of CIO for the introduction of biodegradable mulch films in processing tomatoes were:
- Reduction in the usage of chemical herbicides;
- Earliness of production (early transplanting)/protection from low temperatures in the early developing stages of the crop;
- Increasing and optimizing the water efficiency.
- The main results and considerations on the innovative technique are listed below:
- The innovative technique can be applied for the cultivation of processing tomato, where non – biodegradable mulch cannot be used (since it would be not possible to properly remove them at the end of the crop);
- Biodegradable mulch films are effective in controlling the weeds on the row;
- It is possible to cultivate processing tomato without chemical herbicide, integrating biodegradable mulch films (on the row) and mechanical weeding between the rows;
- The biodegradable mulches have shown to protect the plants from the low temperature in the first phase of development, allowing to anticipate the transplanting and the date of harvesting;
- A reduction in the irrigation water can be a real possibility, since a higher level of humidity under the mulch film compared to bare soil has been observed (measurement with a probe in the soil);
- A better development of the roots under biodegradable mulch films has been observed. This could make the plants more resistant to environmental stresses;
- The total yield obtained by mulched plants was higher compared to the traditional technique (bare soli); also the quality of the crop obtained was better (higher sugar content and higher marketable fruits) probably due to a more concentrate period of ripening;
Finally, no fragments of biodegradable mulch films were found in the harvested products or in the soils where the mulches have been used.
Agronomic performances of biodegradable films as an alternative to polyethylene mulches in vineyards
Mulching is an agricultural practice commonly used in newly planted vineyards, not only for a herbicidal effect and to ensure their successful and homogeneous establishment, but also to bring them to grapes bearing age one year earlier. For practical reason, mulch films made of polyethylene (PE) are been used for several decades in long-term crops such as vineyards. However, at the end of the crop such plastic wastes are generally left in the field or wildly burnt releasing hazardous residues, both leading to aesthetic and environmental issues. In addition, the long-term stability of conventional plastics is disproportionate to the material lifespan required in mulching practices. Recent developments among biodegradable polymer films allow considering them as an environmentally friendly alternative to polyethylene. For that purpose, the considered materials should meet the requirements of the perennial crop and associated farming practices i.e. remain intact in the field long enough to provide its expected positive effects on the crop and then, biodegrade on the soil surface without additional ploughing.
The present work aims at assessing the performance and environmental impact of different biodegradable mulch films (made of MaterBi, poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC)) through a 3-year full-scale field experiment conducted in the south of France. The impact of mulching on soil properties and agronomic performance was evaluated during the three first crop cycles by monitoring vine growth and fruiting yield concomitantly with film ageing in field. Film mechanical properties and surface degradation (soil burial test) were monitored during two crop seasons. In parallel, respirometric tests were undertaken before and field ageing to assess film biodegradability in vineyard soil known to be poor in organic matter and microbial biomass.
As a result, biodegradable films used in vineyard mulching provide similar agronomical performances as PE; grapevine growth and harvest yield were found to be significantly higher for all the mulched modalities than for the bare soil. This positive mulch-induced effect appeared from the first growing season and was maintained three years later even if the biodegradable mulch started deteriorating 5 months after planting. Thus, in spite of the early loss of integrity of the studied biodegradable mulch films, a significant positive effect on the vine growth, the rootstock development, the earliness of the first harvest and the yield (and quality) of the two first harvests have been evidenced. This leads to reconsider the required life expectancy of mulch film in the case of vineyard and constitutes encouraging results towards the possibility of substituting PE films with biodegradable ones.
Keywords: Vineyard establishment, biodegradable films, vegetative growth, soil properties, mechanical properties
Agronomic performance of biodegradable mulch films in China, especially on potato
China has the largest usage of plastic mulch films in the world, which reached 20 million hectares and 1.4 million tons per year since 2014. While plastic mulching significantly promoted crop production, accumulation of mulch residues led to severe environmental problem that threatens sustainable agricultural development. To screen for biodegradable mulch films suitable of replacing polyethylene film in crop planting, we carried out large scale field experiment in 11 provinces in China on growth of maize, cotton, potato, peanut, vegetable and tobacco, respectively.
Ultimate tensile properties, functional properties (warm and moisture conservation), biodegradability, economical efficiency of different biodegradable mulch films, in association with safety mulching period of different crops under distinct environments have been extensively evaluated. Our results showed that mechanical and functional properties of several biodegradable mulch films generally satisfied crop growing request, though predegradation is still the core problem that prohibit its application.
However, for potatoes, which are thermophobic at late growing stages, degradation of biodegradable mulch films lowered rootsphere temperature, promoted potato starch accumulation and increased its yield by 5% as compared to polyethylene mulching treatment, implying successful substitution for polyethylene mulch films. Deep insight into mechanism and kinetic processes of biodegradable mulch film degradation under different environments will led to better understanding and controlling of product safety service time, thus promote utilization of biodegradable mulch films on other crops.
Primary success of biodegradable mulch films on potato production in China
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is the most important non-grain food crop in the world that largely contributes to global food security. Application of plastic mulch films significantly promoted potato production in China by 35-50%. However, accumulation of mulch residues negatively effected soil properties and threatened potato productivity.
To screen for biodegradable mulch films suitable of replacing polyethylene film on potato production, we carried out field experiment in Gansu and Inner Mongolia, two of the intensive potato growing areas in China. Our results showed that mechanical and functional properties of several biodegradable mulch films were of approximately the same level as PE films. However, for potatoes, which are thermophobic at late growing stages, degradation of biodegradable mulch films lowered rootsphere temperature, promoted potato starch accumulation and increased potato production by 5% as compared to polyethylene mulching treatment, implying successful substitution for polyethylene mulch films.
Deep insight into mechanism and kinetic processes of biodegradable mulch film degradation under different environments will led to better understanding and controlling of the properties and service time of biodegradable mulch films, thus further promote its utilization on potato cultivation.
Keywords: Biodegradable mulch film, field experiment, temperature and moisture conservation, biodegradability, potato
Contribution of plastic film mulching to China’s food security
Plastic film mulching (FM) technology has been widely adopted across China in the past 30 years. Amounts of researches have been done on improvement of crop production and water use was often by mulching. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the research undertaken to date and perform a meta-analysis on available data to assess FM’s contribution to main grain crops yield improvement across China. Our results show that plastic film mulching improved crop yield by 28.7% – 58.0%. The greatest yield increase occurred in the dry (annual precipitation <400 mm) and relatively warm areas (total thermal time 3000-4 000ºCd, base ≥0°C). The estimated contribution to the yield increase by plastic film mulching was 1.8×107 metric tons for the three main grain crops of wheat, maize, and rice in China. This provides an example for using the technology in other regions of the world (e.g. middle Asia) to advance crop productivity for global food security.
Agricultural plastic mulch film application in China
In the past three decades, plastic film mulching technology has remarkably improved grain crop yield and water use efficiency through conserving water, maintaining soil moisture, suppressing weeds, increasing temperature and improving cold tolerance. Nationwide, the technology has led to a 20%–50% increase in agricultural products yield. Plastic film mulching technology plays a crucial role in enhancing regional agricultural production, ensuring food security and increasing income of farmers. According to China Agricultural Statistical Yearbook, the volume of plastic film mulch used in China increased over four-fold from 319 000 tons to 1 147 000 tons from 1991 to 2017. Accordingly, the total crop area covered with plastic film mulch similarly exhibited a sustained rate of growth, increasing from 4 909 000 hm2 in 1991 to 18 401 000 hm2 in 2017. All of the provinces and regions of China have shown increasing trends in plastic film mulch use intensity, with increase ranging from three- to ten-fold in past over 30 years. According to a Arima model generated in R programming language, the total crop area covered with plastic film mulch will increase by 19 000 000 to 23 000 000 hm2 and consequently the volume of plastic film mulch used will increase by 1 500 000 to 1 900 000 tons in coming 20 years due to the increasing potato and peanut area covered with plastic film mulch and the implement of new criterion for plastic film.
Effect and challenge of plastic films mulching on cotton production in China
With study on the region of plastic film mulching on cotton planting, and the effect on cotton yield, as well as plastic film residue pollution with plastic film mulching, it provide some support for rational utilization plastic film mulching on cotton production. In this study, there are two methods are adopted: one is the field research and investigation, in the main cotton planting region, the application of plastic film mulching and residual pollution were invested and sampled, and first-hand data was obtained; the another is collected relative literature and statistics data, and review and analysis the material of cotton plastic film mulching application in the past decades. The results showed that plastic film mulching is one of the most widely used agronomic technology in our country, and greatly improved the level of cotton production yield, changed the cotton planting area, greatly promote the development of cotton industry, at the same time, in the cotton planting region, plastic film residue pollution has become a serious problem and influence sustainable development of cotton industry. So, the plastic film mulching technique will play a key role to maintain stability of cotton production, and also the plastic film residue pollution will be more and more serious in the future, and some measures must be token to keep within limits the plastic residual pollution.
Keywords: Cotton; Plastic film mulching; Planting region; Plastic film residual pollution; Prevention and control
Designing a new generation of smart agricultural plastics with improved performances and intrinsic recycling properties
Agriculture is the main sector for the application of plastic as a construction material. While in the civil building/housing industry, plastics are used only for complementary application, in the agricultural sector, mainly in crop protection, plastics play an important role, by performing a passive effect – protecting the crops from negative weather conditions – and, at the same time, an active effect, realizing a fertile environment for the cultivation. The use of plastics in the agriculture generates however serious environmental problems that need to be solved, as the collection and management of large amounts of post-consume material, which poses serious technical problems, mainly in areas characterized by a fragile environment and a marked tourist vocation. While most of building materials are conceived, designed and produced to perform the best possible technical performances (e.g., mechanical, thermal, etc.), plastic materials for agricultural application are currently produced without clear directions to exploit the material in the most efficient way, having also circularity in mind, so as to minimize the environmental impact and contribute to cost-savings in materials, energy, transport and final disposal. The possibilities for an improvement in the technical design of the plastic material for crop protection, in terms of mechanical strength, radiometric properties and better aptitude of the material for the further recycling, are connected with a closer link between its chemical formulation and the engineering performance of the material. Aim of this paper is to present an updated review about the most challenging scientific and technical issues to be investigated with the aim to define the main factors to be taken into consideration during the design phase of the plastic material, so as to “customize” the production of agricultural plastic materials depending on the main characteristics of its use and final disposal in the framework of a circular economy.
Keywords: Agricultural Plastics, technical design, agronomic performances, recycling properties, circular economy
Point à date du système normatif européen sur les films agricoles
|The purpose of this presentation is to review the collection of European standards (EN) for plastic films used in agriculture and horticulture. Over the last five years, CEN has undertaken work to revise existing standards and has added two new standards to this collection. All of this work will be published during the year 2018.
This table brings together all of these documents:
This short presentation (expected duration 15 minutes at the request of the selection committee) aims for already existing standards to do comments on the main modifications and for the news to explain their main requirements.
Keywords: Norms – Agriculture plastic products – Uptade