Navigation Links
Paper mulches evaluated for commercial vegetable production
Date:12/28/2010

LEXINGTON, KY Polyethylene mulches, used widely in commercial vegetable production to improve crop yields and produce quality, have distinct disadvantages. Disposal options are limited, and plastic mulches often end up in landfills, being burned, or disposed of illegally. Recycling polyethylene mulches is also a challenge; the mulches used in large-scale vegetable production are contaminated with too much dirt and debris to be recycled directly from the field in most power plants and incinerators. Timothy Coolong from the University of Kentucky's Department of Horticulture published a report on paper mulches in HortTechnology that may give vegetable producers viable alternatives to polyethylene.

The recent trend toward eco-friendly production techniques has resulted in a second look at biodegradable paper mulches, which are manufactured from renewable resources and do not have to be removed from the field after harvest. Paper-based mulches have been used in agriculture since 1914, but some paper mulches deteriorate rapidly under field conditions, reducing their effectiveness. Paper mulches have other limitations; since they are heavier than polyethylene, transportation costs are higher, and paper mulches are inherently more expensive than polyethylene.

Coolong's research evaluated the performance of four readily obtainable papers compared with traditional black plastic using conventional plastic laying equipment and a water wheel transplanter. The experiments were conducted in Lexington, Kentucky, over two growing seasons using yellow squash. Crop yield and quality, weed biomass, soil temperatures under the mulch, and mulch degradation were evaluated. Four paper mulches50-lb kraft paper, 50-lb polyethylene-coated kraft paper, 40-lb white butcher paper, and 30-lb waxed paperwere compared with 1-mil black polyethylene mulch in two weeding treatments (bare-ground hand-weeded and bare-ground nonweeded).

In the Fall 2007 experiment, butcher paper and polyethylene-coated kraft paper controlled weeds as well as black plastic mulch. However, in Spring 2008, black plastic mulch provided superior weed control compared with other mulches. Yields among waxed, butcher, and polyethylene-coated kraft papers were similar to black plastic mulch in 2007, though yields in paper mulch plots were significantly less than plastic mulch in Spring 2008. Coolong observed that most of the paper mulches were able to be placed with a plastic mulch layer, but were not well-suited for use with a water wheel transplanter.

"Our results suggest that in some situations, paper mulches may provide a more sustainable alternative to traditional black plastic mulches. Results with the polyethylene-coated kraft paper suggest that efforts to combine paper with biodegradable films to create mulches may prove worthwhile," observed Coolong. He cautioned that although paper mulches can be effective, cropping conditions and the environment will influence effectiveness, adding that "if paper mulches are ever to be used on a large scale, they will have to be used in conjunction with mulch laying equipment and perhaps mechanical transplanters".


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Giants among us: Paper explores evolution of the world’s largest mammals
2. Built-in timer for improving accuracy of cost saving paper-strip medical tests
3. Putting a bulls-eye on the flu: Paper details influenzas structure for future drug targeting
4. Impending death for paper coupons?
5. Nature Nanotechnology paper shows enzyme-controlled movement of DNA polymer through a nanopore
6. Computer in wrapping-paper form
7. New paper examines approaches to measuring protein in foods in context of deadly adulterations
8. The making of a queen: Road to royalty begins early in paper wasps
9. Paper offers new insights into the genomics of speciation
10. ADA releases updated position paper on nutrition assistance programs for children
11. Paper wasps and honey bees share a genetic toolkit
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Paper mulches evaluated for commercial vegetable production
(Date:3/16/2017)... CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in ... ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions ... ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... 7, 2017   HireVue , the leading provider ... identify the best talent, faster, today announced the additions ... (CSO) and Diana Kucer as Chief Marketing ... executive team poised to drive continued growth in the ... year of record bookings in 2017. "Companies ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... Australia , March 2, 2017 Australian ... Ltd (ASX: CYP), has signed an agreement with ... from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of ... to conduct a further preclinical study to support the ... treatment of asthma.  Asthma is a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Lajollacooks4u is proud to announce it has become the premiere ... cooking challenges for companies around the world, such as Illumina, HP and Qualcomm, and is ... for its increasing popularity is due to its new team building format, a way for ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017  GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced it has entered ... 12,835,490 shares of its common stock to NantCell, Inc., ... with the sale of its common stock, NantCell has ... to GlobeImmune 200,000 shares, an estimated $2.0 million in ... are pleased to enter into this strategic agreement with ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017 NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage  ... Cancer ... significant strain on health care systems, in terms of costs ... so too does the development of innovative and efficient therapies ... Among the many types of cancer treatments, a growing number ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... monitoring solutions, today announced the hire of Dr. Sigmund “Sig” Floyd as Vice ... applications, strategic partnerships and joint development activities. , “Dr. Floyd’s career has spanned ...
Breaking Biology Technology: