Walki Agri­pap mulching pa­per

Fin­nish man­u­fac­turer Walki has de­vel­oped an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly mulch fi­bre ma­te­rial

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Lam­i­nate and pack­ag­ing man­u­fac­turer Walki has cre­ated a new, organic mulching pa­per which has been suc­cess­fully tested in Fin­land and Swe­den.

Walki de­vel­oped the new ‘Agri­pap’ in an ef­fort to re­duce the us­age of plas­tic film as mulch ma­te­rial, say­ing it es­ti­mates that more than a mil­lion tonnes are used each year.

Com­pany vice-pres­i­dent Arno Wolff says the com­pany’s cre­ation is the only prod­uct of its kind avail­able.

“Walki’s Agri­pap so­lu­tion is the only organic mulch type on the mar­ket that is made from pa­per in­stead of plas­tic,” he says.

“It is en­tirely biodegrad­able, does not con­trib­ute to plas­tic pol­lu­tion and, in­stead, sim­ply dis­solves into the soil.

“It also re­duces the need for the chem­i­cals used to con­trol weed growth.”

As well as re­duc­ing plas­tic us­age, Walki says Agri­pap will con­trib­ute to more ef­fec­tive crop and plant growth, as plas­tic cov­ers can pol­lute soil and cause yields up to 20 per cent lower than those from non-pol­luted soil.

De­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor Peter Martin says he hopes en­vi­ron­men­tally-con­scious farm­ers will catch on to the need to use less plas­tic.

“Hav­ing seen the kind of en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact that plas­tic film can have on the soil, Walki has un­der­stood that there is a need for a more sus­tain­able mulching so­lu­tion,” he says.

“Agri­pap is the per­fect al­ter­na­tive for the farm­ers who care about our en­vi­ron­ment.”

Test­ing of the prod­uct has al­ready been car­ried out suc­cess­fully in Europe, with Fin­nish re­search in­sti­tute Luke Pi­ikkiö con­clud­ing that Agri­pap is easy to lay on the fields and de­liv­ers ef­fec­tive weed con­trol.

Walki says that the test, which com­pared the per­for­mance of dif­fer­ent biodegrad­able mulches for grow­ing ice­berg let­tuce and seedling onions, also showed strong re­sults for yield and dura­bil­ity.

The com­pany’s next step is to com­plete test­ing in Europe’s main mulching mar­kets: Spain, France and Italy.

Aus­tralian sales are con­ducted through Walki’s Malaysian of­fice, but it is not known at this stage when Agri­pap will be avail­able here.

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