Soil sampling and field experiments - China

Effect of conventional and biodegradable mulch films on crop and soil health (common experiment) 

We have experimental sites at four locations in China: Hangjinhou County, Inner Mongolia; Quzhou County, Handan City, Hebei Province; Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province and Changwu City, Shaanxi Province. The Ningbo and Changwu sites were established before the project started, but will continue to be used in the common experiment. 

In China there will usually be five treatments at each site, with local polyethylene and biodegradable films being applied in addition to the two UK-manufactured films and a control with no film. However, in the first year only three treatments were set up because of delays in receipt of the UK films. 

Maize (Zea mays) has been the test crop in Inner Mongolia and Hebei in both 2022 and 2023, while in Ningbo the crops grown were peas (Pisum sativum) in autumn 2022, potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) in spring 2023 and cabbage (Brassica oleracea) in summer 2023.

Mechanical seeding at Hangjinhou site

Land preparation at Quzhou

Maize plants at Changwu

Weed growth and film degradation after crop harvesting at the Ningbo site. Left: polyethylene film, right: biodegradable film