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The best mulch: Armando Alvarez Group and Solar Shrink join forces to produce a breakthrough in sustainable plasticulture (how to do more with less)

The best mulch: Armando Alvarez Group and Solar Shrink join forces to produce a breakthrough in sustainable plasticulture (how to do more with less)

Armando Alvarez Group, a leading company in the agricultural and horticultural sector, has recently established a pioneering partnership with Solar Shrink, a recognized innovator in the field of agricultural mulching.

This exclusive agreement between the two companies represents an important milestone in the progress of sustainable, high-performance solutions for the agricultural community.

Basic concepts about mulching

What is mulching? What is mulching used for? What are the different types of mulching? When should mulching be used? These are some of the fundamental questions that arise when talking about mulching or agricultural mulches. So, first of all, let’s review some basic concepts:

What is mulching? What does mulching do?

Crop mulching, also known as agricultural mulch, plays a crucial role in improving soil health and plant growth.

Mulching is used in the agricultural industry to improve the agronomic properties of crops, enhancing their growth, and overall yield.

When applied to the soil surface, this protective coating provides numerous benefits for farmers who wish to implement agricultural practices that are both efficient and sustainable.

In addition, it serves as a protective barrier against extreme weather conditions, pests, and diseases, safeguarding crops and promoting healthy growth.

What is the purpose of mulching?

Mulching has a special role in making better use of available water resources. By reducing evaporation and preventing runoff, mulching helps farmers optimize water use and minimize the impact of drought conditions on crop growth.

Mulching contributes to the overall resilience of agricultural ecosystems and supports sustainable agricultural practices, responding to the changing needs of modern agriculture and promoting the efficient use of natural resources.

Types of mulching

There are many types of plastic mulch depending on the desired functionality: colorless (transparent), dark (total opacity), bicolor (white/black or silver/black), metalized, photoselective (brown or green), and biodegradable. Mulching is available in different thicknesses (10 to 150 microns).

When considering the different types of mulch, you must understand the unique characteristics and advantages offered by each one of them. Each type of mulch has a specific purpose, whether it is to insulate plant roots, preserve moisture, or suppress weed growth.

Choosing the right type of mulch can optimize resources and promote crop health and vitality.

When evaluating the types of mulch to be used, it is critical to consider factors such as soil type, weather/climate, and crop species. Certain mulches may be more suitable for specific environments or plant varieties, providing benefits as they promote healthy growth and development.

Among the different types of mulches, it is important to highlight the role of these plastics for soil disinfection. This preparation of the soil before cultivation can be done through different methods: solarization, chemical disinfection or disinfection by fumigation. In this post we explain their differences and the benefits of each of the soil treatment methods for agriculture.

Soil disinfection plastics can also be manufactured as TIF or Totally Impermeable Films that are oxygen barrier. Among the many benefits of using a TIF:

  • Optimizes the number of fumigants used on crops vs. those used with a standard film.
  • Increases biocidal efficacy against soil-borne pathogens
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere
  • Protects greenhouse coverings from chemical disinfectants by retaining them in the film
  • Shorten the time to disinfect the soil, allowing the farmer to plant early

We also invite you to read our other articles about:

What is mulching used for?

So, the main objectives and functions of mulching or agricultural mulch are:

  • Prevent the proliferation of weeds
  • Maintain soil moisture, which helps in saving water and, therefore, reduces environmental impact
  • Increasing the possibility of advancing crops
  • Protection in the early stages of growth
  • Increasing fruit homogeneity and quality
What is mulching used for

What is mulching used for

What is the best mulch?

When considering the best mulch, several factors come into play. The effectiveness of the mulch in retaining moisture and suppressing weeds is crucial.

Choosing the best mulch is a critical decision, as it will significantly influence plant growth and overall soil health. Evaluating the specific requirements of your crop can guide you in choosing the most appropriate mulch for optimum results.

Does mulch prevent weeds?

When it comes to crops, the question of whether mulching can effectively prevent weed growth is a common concern.

By creating a physical barrier on the soil surface, mulching restricts sunlight access to weed seeds, hindering their ability to sprout and grow. This process helps prevent the establishment of new weeds while suppressing the growth of existing weeds.

Understanding the role of mulching in preventing weed growth is vital to maintaining a healthy crop.

Although there are several types of mulches available, choosing the right one can significantly influence the effectiveness of weed prevention.

On which crops can mulches be used?

Mulches can be used in different crops such as strawberries, melon, watermelon, asparagus, peppers, or tomatoes, among others. If you want to know more about the subject you can read the following articles:

Purpose of mulching

Purpose of mulching

The new generation of Solar Shrink mulches

The innovative Solar Shrink mulch, created by Solar Shrink Pty Ltd. and Armando Alvarez Group, represents a significant milestone for farmers globally, introducing new standards in the agricultural industry.

This revolutionary product offers unique properties that set it apart from traditional mulch materials. Its innovative design and functionality are expected to have a substantial impact on agricultural practices.

The advanced technological composition of the product allows it to optimize crop growing conditions, while it also promotes resource efficiency and environmental sustainability.

It is also important to highlight the Solar Shrink TIF Barrier Film product for the disinfection of agricultural soils, which in addition to all the advantages mentioned above in the types of mulch, has all the properties of this innovative solution that we will see in detail below.

Benefits of the new Solar Shrink film

Some of its main advantages and benefits are highlighted below:

  • Thinner, stronger, tighter: Solar Shrink, is a revolutionary product characterized by being up to 50% thinner than other mulching options. This makes it not only economically viable but also environmentally friendly. Its exceptional strength ensures its durability even in challenging environments.
  • Shrinks in sunlight: Unlike conventional methods, Solar Shrink undergoes permanent shrinkage under solar exposure. This allows it to adapt to the contours of the ground and thus optimize soil heating and moisture retention.  
  • Efficient placement/removal process: Solar Shrink’s ingenious lightweight structure optimizes the material’s placement or installation. In addition, it facilitates the coverage of larger areas with each roll, streamlining the installation and removal process. 
  • Innovative and sustainable solution: Solar Shrink stands out for its focus on sustainability and recyclability. This contributes to a 50% reduction in the use of raw materials compared to other conventional products. 

Exclusive production and distribution in key regions  

The Armando Alvarez Group’s partnership with Solar Shrink has led to the exclusive production and distribution rights for the innovative product Solar Shrink Mulch Film in markets with high potential such as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. 

This strategic partnership aims to bring this cutting-edge agricultural solution to a wide and diverse range of farming communities; thus providing agricultural professionals with access to a transformative technology that promises to increase the performance and sustainability of their operations. 

About Solar Shrink Pty Ltd. 

Solar Shrink Pty Ltd., based in Brisbane, Australia, specializes in the development of plastic films for agricultural mulching. Its main objective is to increase crop productivity while minimizing environmental impact. 

About Armando Alvarez Group  

The Armando Alvarez Group, headquartered in Torrelavega, Spain, but with a presence in more than 100 countries, is a global leader in plastic solutions for the agricultural industry. Its focus on innovation and sustainability drives its commitment to the continuous improvement of agricultural practices around the world. 


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Webinar about Solar Shrink: a new generation of mulch film
Webinar about Solar Shrink: a new generation of mulch film



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