Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2




"Polythene mulch - A management tool in sustainable crop production"
Mahantesh Hagari, PGS14AGR6435, Masters Seminar, AGR-591, Date: 11/03/16, Time:2.00 pm
For decades, farmers have been trying to use various materials such as dry leaf, paddy straw,
paddy husk , jowar trash , saw dust, dry grass, dry sugarcane leaves, dry coconut leaves, coconut husk,
paper etc. for moisture conservation (reducing water evaporation losses) , checking weed growth, and
moderation of soil temperature.
Use of polythene mulch creates a kind of micro- climate for the plant, which is suited for best
performance by regulating soil water, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide enrichment and increased
microbial activity in the soil. Thus, mulching is the process of covering soil around the plant root area
with a view to insulate the plant and its root from effect of extreme temperature fluctuations.
All the available materials, though beneficial, were found to have inherent weakness and not
easily available in large quantity. However, the plastic films are easily available, easy to handle, transport
and lay. This leads to lead to use of plastic films as mulches. Now a days LDPE and LLDPE plastic films
are commonly used. LLDPE black colour mulch is most popular, owing to the twin properties of downgauging and better puncture resistance. While down gauging leads to availability of thinner film at lower
cost, the puncture resistance and opacity checks weed growth under film.
Brief review of work:
Comparative study of polythene mulch with other mulches
Awasthy et al, (2015), revealed that black polythene mulch significantly increased maize yield
(43.76 q/ha) over paddy straw mulch (40.29 q/ha), live mulch (33.78 q/ha), no mulch (weedy check)
(24.13 q/ha) and no mulch (weed free check) (38.58 q/ha).
Ghadage et al, (2005), reported that the plastic film mulch recorded significantly higher values of

growth, yield attributes and yield of seed cotton and stalk. Maximum net returns and benefit: cost ratio
were recorded by plastic film mulch over sugarcane trash (10 tonnes/ha) as organic mulch and control (no
mulch). The water-use efficiency was 9 and 5 % in plastic film and organic mulch respectively.
Shahi et al, 2002, observed that polythene mulch in ground nut contributed significantly higher
seedling emergence (35.08 %, 61.25 % and 68.08 % at 8, 12 and 15 days after sowing) compared to all
other organic treatments and control (without mulch).
Effect of colour and thickness of polythene mulch on crops
Somanath, (2008), reported significantly higher fresh root yield (3326 kg/ha) and dry root yield
(726 kg/ha) in black polythene mulched treatment among the different coloured polythene mulches in
Safed musli, and highest net returns and benefit cost ratio recorded in same treatment.

Subrahmaniyan et al, (2008), revealed that the dry-matter production and yield attributes of
groundnut were significantly higher under black polyethylene-film mulch which gave the highest pod
yield of 2.87 t/ha compared with 2.21 t/ha by the non-mulched control and net returns and benefit cost
ratio were highest under black polythene mulch compared to other coloured mulches and control.
Nalayini et al., ( 2009), reported that polythene mulch with 75 micron thickness recorded
significantly higher yield and yield parameters of cotton over other mulches with 30,50 and 100 micron
thickness . And higher water use efficiency was observed by mulch with same thickness.
Polythene mulching is a potential option for the crop production to conserve the water and
managing weeds and enhancing the production efficiency. However, higher initial cost of this
material is the hindrance in advocating this technology. While policy like subsidized poly-film
helps in future for improving the productivity and profit of farmers besides saving the precious
water and Creating lesser pressure on ground water resources.
Polythene mulch shown yield advantage in most of crops but found economical in few high
valued crops.
Future line of work
Emphasized study needed for biodegradable, durable, puncture resistant and cheaper polythene
Need to standardize polythene mulching technology in sustaining agriculture productivity and
economizing water under conditions of ever depleting water resources.
Selected references:
Awasthy,P.,Bhambri, M. C.,Pandey, N. and Patel, B., 2015, Performance of different mulches on yield
and yield attributes of summer maize (Zea mays) under Chhattisgarh plain of India, Environment
and ecology. 33(4A) : 1698-1703.
Ghadage, H.L., Pawar V.S. and Gaikwad, C..B., 2005, Influence of mulches on growth, yield, water use
and economics of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) under irrigated conditions of Western
Maharashtra. Indian J. Agron. 50 (2) : 159-161.
Nalayini, P., Anandham, R., Sankaranarayanan, K. and Rejendran, T. P., 2009, Polyethylene mulching
for enhancing crop productivity and water use efficiency in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and
maize (Zea mays) cropping system. Indian J. Agron. 50 (4) : 409-414.
Shahi, V. K., Banerjee, S. and Nanda, M. K.,2002, Effect of mulching on soil temperature and its impact
on seedling emergence of groundnut. J. Agric. Physics. 2(1) : 9-12.
Somanath, (2008), Response of Safed musli (Chlorophytum borivilianum) to NPK. FYM and mulching in
north east transitional zone of Karnataka. Ph. D, Thesis, Univ, of Agril, Sci,. Dharwad.
Subrahmaniyan, K., Kalaiselvan, P. and. Balasubramanian, T.N., 2008, Microclimate variations in relation
to different types of polyethylene-film mulch on growth and yield of groundnut (Arachis
hypogaea). Indian J. Agron. 53(3): 184-188.