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-level professional development training in soil-biodegradable plastic mulch for strawberry growers and crop consultants in Watsonville, CA, USA, on 4 Feb 2020. Regional level A regional professional development training was conducted virtually via webinar for

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Biodegradable plastic mulch was introduced in the 1990s as an alternative to PE mulch, which has been used in agriculture worldwide since the early 1960s to control weeds, conserve soil moisture, modify soil temperature, shorten time to harvest, and

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; Steinmetz et al., 2016 ). Introduced in the 1990s, biodegradable plastic mulch is a potential alternative to PE mulch ( Kasirajan and Ngouajio, 2012 ; Miles et al., 2017 ; Sintim and Flury, 2017 ). Made from starch and other biodegradable polymers

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represented farms from various counties across west, middle, and east Tennessee ( Fig. 1 ). Fig. 1. Respondents to a 2019 survey of Tennessee fruit and vegetable farmers about the use of polyethylene (PE) mulch and plastic biodegradable mulch (BDM) based on

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processing tomatoes Weed Technol. 24 3 369 377 Bilck, A.P. Grossmann, M.V. Yamashita, F. 2010 Biodegradable mulch films for strawberry production Polym. Test. 29 4 471 476 Brodhagen, M. Peyron, M. Miles, C. Inglis, D.A. 2015 Biodegradable plastic agricultural

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biodegradable polymers (such as starch or cellulose), have been proposed as a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional petroleum-based mulches. ASTM International (2011 ) defines BDMs as a type of plastic material that degrades as a

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and Gounder, 2001 ). Environmental costs could also be reduced if the mulches were compostable. Degradable plastic agricultural mulches were first introduced in the 1980s, but those products were photodegradable rather than biodegradable, and they

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.g., straw and newspaper mulches ( Monks et al., 1997 )], paper-based mulches (e.g., WeedGuardPlus; Sunshine Paper, Aurora, CO), or biodegradable plastic films and fabrics ( Miles et al., 2012 ). Of these options, biofabrics and bioplastic films have

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drop spreader over the plot area (6344 ft 2 ) and incorporated with a springtooth harrow with rolling basket (Kongskilde Agriculture, Hudson, IL) both years. Black biodegradable plastic mulch (Organix A.G.; Organix Solutions, Maple Grove, MN) was laid

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growing interest in biodegradable plastics as an alternative to polyethylene for agricultural mulch. Biodegradable plastics are a class of plastic materials which degrade due to the action of naturally occurring microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and

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