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Applied Market Information (AMI) will discuss the latest trends and developments in the field of plastic film and sheet for use in the agriculture sector at Agricultural Film 2010 on 22-24 November.

The conference will start with an overview of the markets from Andrew Reynolds of AMI Consulting.

BSK Plast Pack and Agrarservice und Trade has examined the changes in structure of the agricultural industry and the effects on plastics consumption, including silage stretch film, sheets, round bale net and twine.

In Turkey, Naksan Plastik has reviewed the effects of plastic mulch on plant growth in orchards and greenhouses.

One of the latest developments in South Africa, announced by Greencult, is a netted mulch to combat wind stress and to increase the yields of cucurbit.

The natural and artificial ageing of tri-layer polyethylene film has been studied in North Africa by the Algerian Universite IBN Khaldoun Tiaret.

Polimeri Europa, meanwhile, has looked at the effectiveness of EVA film on increasing productivity.

Evoh is a high-barrier resin and Nippon Gohsei Europe has developed stretch film grades for agriculture.

In the sterilisation of soil, film is placed over the ground before the chemical is applied.

Totally impermeable film (TIF) grades are produced by Eval Europe to reduce fumigant dosage and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

Basilicata University has studied the environmental aspects of film use.

One issue is the recovery of film from mulch applications when the material is torn and dirty.

Biodegradable mulch is becoming widely used to overcome some of the problems.

Mirel Biobased Plastics has examined the biodegradability of these materials in both Europe and North America.

The Japanese bioplastics industry is said to be well developed; Campo Tecnico, for instance, produces film and compost bags.

Biodegradable plastics can be difficult to process because they are made to degrade; Clariant Masterbatches has solutions for additivation.

Meanwhile, machinery manufacturers have been working out the optimal processing conditions and Kuhne has unveiled developments to assist in film processing.

Paul and Co offers paper cores for film to help reduce the environmental impact of production.

There have been problems in recent years from the increased use of chemical pesticides, which have damaged tunnel and greenhouse films.

This has been addressed by the chemical industry working with suppliers to produce stabilisers and formulations to meet the new performance requirements.

For example, BASF has developed light stabilisation systems to resist the effects of chemical pesticides.

Kafrit, meanwhile, has studied the effects on films of severe treatment and has also looked at the correlation with ultraviolet absorbers.

Agricultural Film 2010 provides networking opportunities across the industry supply chain and a chance to keep up to date with the latest issues, developments and market trends.

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