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Crop Tunnels and Plastic Mulch

Crop Tunnels Plastic Mulch Recycling Ag Plastic SCRI Project
highTunnels low-crop-covers other-mulch1 biodegradable-mulch1 recycling1

High Tunnel and Biodegradable Mulch Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Project

This 3-year, transdisciplinary research and extension project investigated the use of an experimental spunbond nonwoven mulch, leading commercially-available biodegradable mulches, and conventional black plastic in both high tunnel and open field specialty crop production. An objective was to measure mulch biodegradabilty in the soil.

Crop Tunnels and Mulch

Urbanization and high land costs provide market opportunities for high-value crops. High tunnels are temporary structures covered with clear plastic and are used to:

Image of ASHS SCRI 2010 poster
Biodegradable Mulches for Specialty Crops Produced Under Protective Covers Poster

  • provide protection from rain and other weather events
  • raise soil and air temperatures which extend the growing season
  • make use of limited farmland
  • grow crops sustainably and organically

High tunnels require good management for weed control, insect pest and disease protection and temperature and water optimization. Thus, growers often employ raised beds with mulch covers.

SCRI Project CRIS Report, 2013

SCRI Project CRIS Report, 2012

SCRI Project CRIS Report, 2011

SCRI Project CRIS Report, 2010