Mulches

Farmers have been using polyethylene-based (PE) plastic mulches for more than 60 years to meet the increased demand of crops, especially vegetables. The use of mulch can increase marketable crop yield by controlling weeds, conserving moisture, enhancing soil temperature, reducing disease pressure and controlling wind erosion. But there are several economic and ecological drawbacks associated with the use of non-biodegradable mulch in agriculture. Mulch can impart harmful effects to the soil, environment and overall ecology since mulch can persist for many years. Mulch that has the benefits of PE but that can biodegrade in the soil has the potential to be a good alternative for farmers and the environment.

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