Use of Plastic in Greenhouse Vegetable Production in the United States

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  • 1 Multicounty Extension Agent. Suwannee Valley Agricultural Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Live Oak, FL 32060.
  • | 2 Associate Professor. Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The evolution of plastic uses (excluding glazing) in the production of greenhouse vegetables is presented. Plastics are used in almost every aspect of crop production, including providing a barrier to the soil, lining crop production troughs, holding soil and soilless media, and providing a nutrient film channel. Irrigation systems have become very elaborate, with various plastic products used to transport water and nutrients and to provide a means of emitting nutrient solution to the crop. The greenhouse environment is managed from several plastic components, including air distribution tubes, shade materials, and energy curtains. Plastics are now common in greenhouse vegetable crop training, insect monitoring, postharvest handling, storage, and marketing.

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