Global populations are growing which is placing pressure on water and food supplies. By using plastics film and sheet in agriculture, water can be conserved and production increased. The latest trends and developments in this field will be discussed at AMI’s third international conference, Agricultural Film 2010, to be held 22-24 November at the Fira Palace Hotel in Barcelona, Spain, kicking off with an overview of the markets from Andrew Reynolds of AMI Consulting. BSK Plast Pack & Agrarservice und Trade has examined the changes in structure of the agricultural industry and the effects on plastics consumption including silage stretch film, sheets, round bale net and twine.
In Turkey, Naksan Plastik has reviewed the effects of plastic mulch in orchards and greenhouses on plant growth. One of the latest innovations in South Africa, announced by Greencult, is a netted mulch to combat wind stress and increase yields of Cucurbit. The natural and artificial ageing of tri-layer polyethylene film has been studied in North Africa by the Algerian Universite IBN Khaldoun Tiaret.
Polimeri Europa has looked at the effectiveness of EVA film on increasing productivity. EVOH is a high barrier resin and Nippon Gohsei Europe has developed stretch film grades for agriculture. In sterilisation of soil, film is placed over the ground before the chemical is applied. Totally impermeable film (TIF) grades are produced by EVAL Europe to reduce fumigant dosage and VOC emissions.
The University of Basilicata has studied the environmental aspects of film use. One issue for the industry is recovery of film from mulch applications when the material is often torn and dirty. Biodegradable mulch is becoming widely used to overcome some of the problems. Mirel Biobased Plastics has examined the biodegradability of these materials in both Europe and North America. The Japanese bioplastics industry is well developed: Campo Tecnico produces film and compost bags. Biodegradable plastics can be difficult to process because they are made to degrade: Clariant Masterbatches has solutions for additivation. Meanwhile, the machinery manufacturers have been working out the optimal processing conditions and Kuhne has new developments to aid in film processing. Paul & Co. has paper cores for film to assist in reducing the environmental impact of production.
There have been problems in recent years from the increased use of chemical pesticides, which have damaged tunnel and greenhouse films. This has been addressed by the chemical industry working closely with suppliers to produce new stabilisers and formulations to meet the new performance requirements. For example, BASF has developed new light stabilisation systems to resist the effects of chemical pesticides. Kafrit has studied the effects on films of severe treatment and looked at the correlation with UV absorbers.
Agricultural Film 2010 provides networking opportunities across the industry supply chain and the chance to keep up to date with the latest issues, innovations and market trends.
Agricultural Film 2010
22-24 November 2010
Fira Palace Hotel, Barcelona, Spain
Web site: http://www2.amiplastics.com/Events/Event.aspx?code=C350&sec=1028
Author and contact for further information:
Dr Sally Humphreys
Business Development Manager
Applied Market Information Ltd, AMI House, 45-47 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QP, UK
Tel: +44 117 924 9442 Fax: +44 (0) 117 311 1534
Web site: www.amiplastics.com