Biodegradable polymers as floating row covers in field production of radish
Andrzej Kalisz , Aneta Grabowska , Agnieszka Sękara , Ewa Capecka , Andrzej Libik , Konrad Sulak , Rita Jurkow
AbstractPolypropylene (PP) covers are used in radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. sativus) production to provide better microclimate for improving yield and quality, but disposing of non-degradable covers is difficult and expensive. In this work, nonwovens prepared from biodegradable polymers (aliphatic-aromatic copolyesters with and without fatty acid dimers: SB48/11, SB20/13, SB21/13, SB28/13) were tested in the field as substitutes for nonwoven PP. Minimum air temperature under biodegradable covers was higher by 0.6-0.8 °C than under nonwoven PP, but photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) transmission was lower by 4.1% (SB20/13) and 7.1% (SB21/13). We observed a decrease in marketable yield of plants covered with biodegradable fleeces by 1.01 to 2.90 kg m-2 (SB48/11 and SB28/13, respectively) in spring seasons, but similar yields to nonwoven PP were obtained in the autumn seasons. Dry weight, soluble sugars, L-ascorbic acid, pigments content in radish was dependent on a specific set of environmental conditions rather than on the type of cover. However, L-ascorbic acid content in the roots increased significantly by 6.4 and 2.9 mg 100 g-1 FW for SB48/11 and SB20/13 (in one trial), respectively, as compared to nonwoven PP. It is possible to use biodegradable nonwovens as floating covers for radish cultivated in seasons with temperature drops.
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