Film: Farmer-led solutions to on farm plastic

Resource explained

While plastic mulches are effective in managing weeds, environmental problems associated with their use are becoming increasingly clear. Polyethylene mulch, a popular available options to growers, is cheaply available but quickly degrades into the soil and water courses. This video features Ben Coode Adams, one of five growers taking part in a field lab. He wants to find alternatives to the black plastic film that his fruit farm currently uses to suppress weeds under blackcurrant bushes. He is one of a group of small, medium and large-scale growers that have come together to find practical ways of reducing plastic use on their farms. The trial is comparing a range of commercially available non-degradable and biodegradable solutions, to evaluate their impact on weeds, yields, costs and other parameters. These include starch-based film mulches, woodchip, compost, cardboard, hay and grass clippings.

Findings & recommendations

  • These trials build on Centre for Agroecology Water and Resilience (CAWR)’s OrganicPlus trials, and are complimented by a life-cycle analysis of the materials by CAWR partners, to understand the wider impact on sustainability.
  • Find out more about this field lab here.
  • Get involved in your own farmer-led research! To keep informed of how this field lab and others are progressing or if you have your own ideas for a field lab, you can contact the Innovative Farmers team to find out how to get involved.

Image credit: Innovative Farmers. All Rights Reserved

Summary provided by:

Innovative Farmers

Edited by:

Janie Caldbeck

Associated Agricology Partner Organisation(s):

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