The increasing demand for mulching and solarization in agriculture is posing serious problems of environmental concerns. Practically all these films are collected by the farmers and left on the ground borders to be incinerated. The same collection by the farmer is difficult; these films being thinner and damaged, their removal through automatic means is almost impossible. The research has focused on an innovative approach where a sort of sprayable water-based varnish is applied on soil. Such varnish, made of biodegradable polysaccharides mixture, contains biodegradable plasticizers to allow the film to remain elastic for the time needed. Moreover, a set of fibrous natural fillers have been tested, which can be mixed in the varnish or can be preventively applied on soil. The agronomic performances have been measured, together with mechanical properties and degradation behavior. The results seem to confirm the technical feasibility of such approach in developing a sustainable plasticulture. Copyright Â© 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
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