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Italy: Organic mulching films do not impede mechanical harvesting processing tomatoes

On the 3rd September 2013, a technical-demonstrative day was held at the Cattivelli company in Piacenza organised by the CIO Consorzio interregionale ortofrutticoli, the most important PO in the production of tomatoes for processing in Europe. The aim was to present organic Mater-Bi mulching films to technicians. They were created in collaboration with Novamont, a leading company in the biodegradable plastic sector.

The tests were carried out in order to identify the potential agronomic and environmental advantages of this technique. The latest data is currently being verified so as to determine the benefits deriving from the use of the film.

The decomposition of the film carried out by micro-organisms in the soil.

Contrary to what happens in other European countries, in fact, in Italy mulching films have not been used on tomatoes for processing, maybe also because of the harvesting problems created by traditional mulching films such as the obstruction of the mechanical parts of harvesters. The problem no longer exists with organic films, as shown by other European regions where this technique is widely used.

In fact, the characteristics of the material mean that mechanical harvesting can be carried out without problems, as the biodegradable film does not impede operations because it breaks easily when it comes into contact with the machine.

No residues in the trailer.

The objective of the event was that of demonstrating how Mater-Bi biodegradable films work well with mechanical harvesting as they do not impede operations and there are no residues mixed with the harvested produce.

Various technicians invited by the CIO took part of the event and witnessed the feasibility and the usefulness of biodegradable films. They were very interested in what could become a significant innovation in the cultivation of tomatoes for processing. This technique would also help the environment, reducing waste and the need for technical means and water.

No residues on the belt of the harvester.

The organisers feel that the experience has been positive so far, and they are waiting for the latest data to be verified to make further evaluations on the potential of the technique from both a productive and a qualitative point of view.

For further info:
Novamont SpA
Sara Guerrini
Manuela Impallari
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