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Open AccessCommunication

Initial Experimental Experience with a Sprayable Biodegradable Polymer Membrane (SBPM) Technology in Cotton

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CSIRO, Agriculture & Food, LB 59 Narrabri, NSW 2390, Australia
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CSIRO, Manufacturing, Private Bag 33, Clayton, VIC 3169, Australia
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CSIRO, Agriculture & Food, PMB, Aitkenvale, Townsville, QLD 4814, Australia
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Department of Soil Amelioration, University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Svetošimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040584
Received: 18 March 2020 / Revised: 15 April 2020 / Accepted: 16 April 2020 / Published: 19 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimizing Plant Water Use Efficiency for a Sustainable Environment)
Preformed biodegradable and next generation sprayable biodegradable polymer membrane (SBPM) formulations, which biodegrade to non-harmful products (water, carbon dioxide and microbial biomass), have been introduced as an alternative to plastic mulch films in order to mitigate plastic pollution of the environment. In this preliminary field study on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), a novel SBPM technology was compared to preformed slotted oxo-degradable plastic (ODP) mulch film and no mulch control (CON) in terms of yield, crop water productivity (CWP), and soil temperature. The first results showed higher CWP and crop yield, and increased soil water content under the SBPM cover. This study indicates that SBPM technology could perform at similar level as ODP or comparable films under field conditions and, at the same time, provide environmentally sustainable agricultural cropping practices. Additionally, the fully treated, non-replicated SBPM plot had a wetter soil profile throughout the entire crop season. This innovative technology has shown a high potential even at this early stage of development, indicating that advances in formulation and further testing can lead to significant improvements and thus increased use in crop production systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: preformed plastic mulch film; crop water productivity; biodegradation; crop productivity; spray-on mulch; water use efficiency preformed plastic mulch film; crop water productivity; biodegradation; crop productivity; spray-on mulch; water use efficiency
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MDPI and ACS Style

Braunack, M.V.; Adhikari, R.; Freischmidt, G.; Johnston, P.; Casey, P.S.; Wang, Y.; Bristow, K.L.; Filipović, L.; Filipović, V. Initial Experimental Experience with a Sprayable Biodegradable Polymer Membrane (SBPM) Technology in Cotton. Agronomy 2020, 10, 584.

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