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World's biggest biodegradable mulch experiment

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Published on Jun 1, 2016

The use of polyethylene (PE) mulch in agriculture has greatly increased in the last two decades throughout the world. Mulch reduces weed pressure, moderates the soil temperature, conserves soil moisture and results in higher crop yield. However, disposal of used PE mulch may cause pollution which has created a threat to the soil and environment. This study evaluated four potentially biodegradable plastic mulches (Metabolix, Organix, Naturecycle and BioAgri) for effect on pumpkin yield and quality, as well as mulch deterioration during the pumpkin growing season at Mount Vernon, WA. WeedGuardPlus and PE were also included in the experiment. WeedGuardPlus is a cellulose-paper mulch which is allowed in certified organic agriculture in the U.S. currently. Non of the other biodegradable mulches are allowed for certified organic agriculture in the U.S.

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