Soil sampling and field experiments - UK

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

Maize (Zea mays L.) has been grown annually to harvest under both types of film and without film for a duration of one growing season in North Wales, UK, starting in 2021. At the end of each growing season, the remaining mulch film was removed from the plots, weighed, cut into small pieces, and stored. These pieces are then mixed into the topsoil before the start of the next growing season to simulate the ploughing in of mulch film in other regions of the world.

Figure 1. Plot layout with random allocation of conventional (LDPE), biodegradable (PLA/PBAT) and control (no mulch film) treatments with four replicates each.

Figure 2. Aerial photograph of experimental area after harvest one (2021), showing the differences between conventional, biodegradable and control treatments.