CASE STUDIES

Colorado State University

Increase Your Hemp Yield

Colorado_hemp_film_research_Filmorganic
The climat

Hemp growers is often outdoors grown in the Pacific and Mountain climates. That means a short growing season and big temperature swings. Mornings in the high 50’s and low 60’s with highs of over 100F. And lots of wind.

A scientific approach

In 2019, Colorado State University, Yellowjacket, CO experimented with 3 different mulch treatments. FilmOrganic Black, CoolWhite and Smart Stripes were tested according to the best scientific practices to determined whats the best color.

Smart Stripes beats the other colors

It turned out that Smart Stripes generated the most yield. Plants grew 10% larger on average. Flower weight and total dry biomass weight were up 10% compared to the Black and CoolWhite treatment.

Plants grown on black suffered from too much heat early on. Vegetation was lower and plants were smaller compared to the other colors. The plants on white mulch film had insufficient heat during the flowering stage. So they stopped growing later on in the cycle.

Plants on Smart Stripes grew vigorously during the vegetation stage and continued growing during the flowering stage. It did better overall.

"Overall, the Smart Stripes mulch had the largest fresh and dry biomass yields and total flower yield compared to the other..."

Katie Russell, PhD, Manager / Research Scientist, Colorado State University, Southwestern CO Research Ctr

Mulch treatment 20-inch irrigation
Flower weight lbs/acre
Total biomass dry weight lbs/acre
Total fresh weight lbs/acre
Black 2,227.6 2,995.2 7,505
White 2,291.7 2,592.7 6,527
Smart Stripes 2,487.3 3,275.7 8,573
Smart Stripes gain over black +195 +683 +2,046
Smart Stripes gain over white +259 +280 +1,067
Well worth the investment

 

So, with FilmOrganic Smart Stripes, you get the benefits of a true certified compostable-biodegadable mulch film. It is clean, non-toxic, safe for the environment and avoids cleaning costs. Plus, it helps you increase the bottom line by anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000 per acre depending on the market conditions and what is produced.

 

Smart Stripes : smells like extra profits

An extra picking for veggies

Extra_picking_for_veggies_Filmorgranic
The not-so-known benefit of using a compostable mulch film: an extra picking

Everyone hates picking up plastic after harvest. It’s a dirty job and guys just hate doing it. Plus, it costs more than we might think. Mowing, slicing, lifting, picking, throwing and dumping spent mulch film can cost growers several hundreds and thousands of dollars each year.

But there is a much higher, hidden benefit to using FilmOrganic compostable-biodegradable mulch film. The extra picking!

Better things to do than picking plastic

Johnny (his name was change due to privacy reasons) was growing peppers on FilmOrganic for 3 straight years, since 2016. His neighbor was growing on plastic mulch film. He didn’t want to switch because he was concerned with soil-quality and cleanliness. He thought it was cheaper to pick-up plastic than using FilmOrganic.

Would you like a few thousand dollars of extra revenue per acre?

It turned out that while Johnny’s crew were picking peppers, his neighbor’s crew was picking plastic. Johnny was making money, while his neighbor was spending.

Not only that but Johnny’s soil was clean. The neighbor’s soil had plastic remnants from years past.

Well worth the investment

TÜV-certified FilmOrganic compostable-biodegradable mulch film gets you a longer growing season. That can help you make a few extra dollars per acre. How much depends on the crop and the market conditions. But it can easily mean $1,000 or $2,000 per acre. Johnny made an extra $40 000 that years because of FilmOrganic. Taking into account the cost avoidance of cleaning a field of dirty plastic, FilmOrganic is by far the clear winner.

Wouldn’t you know that in 2019, Johnny’s neighbor switched all his mulch film business to FilmOrganic.

With FilmOrganic, your soil is clean and your pocket-book is bigger

Strawberries

Getting rid of the worst job on the farm is easy with FilmOrganic

The Pouliot Farm is an important strawberry producer. It has been one of the leading producers of this red little fruit since 1995. Growing strawberries takes a lot of care and minutia. So there is little time left for non-production oriented work.

Mulch film was always a part of the integrated pest-management system used at the farm. But the hassle, time and cost of cleaning a field was eating away at precious resources. FilmOrganic stepped up to the plate and took on the challenge. The goal was to replace the plastic mulch film with FilmOrganic compostable-biodegradable mulch film, in over-winter berries.

But just how much does it cost to clean an acre? Take a look. This is specific to strawberries.

→ Labor @ $15 / hour.

→ Tractor cost per hour @ $0.70 / hp. $70 / hour for a 100 hp tractor.

→ Includes skilled driver, gas, insurance, maintenance and depreciation expense.

→ 8,000 linear feet per acre, 5 ft spacing.

→ 48’’ wide mulch film, 1.25 mil**

Activity Polyethylene 1.25 mil, 48’’
Mow (2 passes because of runners) 1.5 hours / acre
Lift mulch film w/ lifter 1.5 hours / acre
Pull mulch and drip tape 6-7 man-hours / acre
Throw mulch and drip in wagon 1.5 man-hours / acre
Pull wagon when men throw mulch 30 minutes
Send container to landfill $100 / acre
Remove drip tape from field Not applicable
Total cleaning cost

Tractor: 3.75 hrs/acre = $262

Labor: 7.5-8.5 manhours/acre = $120

Disposal & tipping: $100 / acre

Total cleaning cost $482

 

 

Guy Pouliot. Ferme Onésime Pouliot

''FilmOrganic black mulch […] warms the soil by attracting heat, conserves soil moisture, blocks out weeds and protects strawberries from soil splashes, which can sometimes cause fungus. We have been using FilmOrganic’s plastic films for several years since they are biodegradable and compostable.'' 

06/05/2020

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