High temperatures need no longer be a threat that can compromise quality and create unpleasant working conditions. Arrigoni, an international leader in the production of technical fabrics for agriculture, offers Prisma® thermo-reflective mesh, a hi-tech solution tested in the field to protect crops and significantly increase productivity. Tests carried out on spinach crops have demonstrated the quality and quantity of vegetables grown under the Arrigoni thermo-reflective mesh.
The consumption of 4th range salads, which was growing exponentially before the pandemic, is not in crisis, however. According to the data from Nielsen and the Unione Italiana, for Food-4th range, the losses are limited. “We can therefore expect the segment to fully recover as soon as the pandemic is over, and return to the pre-Covid trend.”
Overall, 4th-range crops are very sensitive to their environment, as they need uniform light and non-excessive heat. Arrigoni’s extremely efficient solutions improve the general conditions of salad crops, by optimizing photosynthetic performance, offering protection against burns and promoting water efficiency.
Prisma®, temperature control and better light diffusion
Prisma® is the line of polyethylene strip fabrics with LD-Dight Diffusion additive that reflects IR rays, improves microclimate, lowers temperature while increasing the percentage of diffused light.
“The special LD-Light Diffusion additive is formulated by the Arrigoni laboratory and incorporated into the mesh during production. It increases the percentage of light diffused in the PAR (photosynthetic active radiation) spectrum and reflects most of the IR (infrared) ray, which is responsible for the temperature increase under the protection,” explains Giuseppe Netti, agronomist and member of the R&D team at Arrigoni.
Prisma®: tests on spinach
The Prisma® efficiency was demonstrated by the tests carried out on spinach crops. The spinach grown under the grey mesh showed all the most important commercial characteristics at an average level, while the spinach grown under the black and white protection had elongated light green leaves, with none of the most desired marketing characteristics. The leaves of the spinach grown under Prisma®, on the other hand, were dark green and blistered, with the correct shape. Besides, the leaves had a short stem, which means that the plants grew in the right light conditions.
Quantities measured during the test
In the end, Prisma® reduces the temperature and improves the passage of light in the PAR spectrum. The damage caused by heat drops, while the quality and quantity of the production improve. Not only do the lower temperatures optimize photosynthesis, but they also reduce the water requirements by 20 to 30%.
Arrigoni has been active in the textile industry since 1936. The group started manufacturing polyethylene mesh in 1959 and therefore has more than 50 years of experience in the field of protective mesh. With three production sites on a total surface area of 110,000 m², 39,000 m² of which are covered, its production capacity reached over 6,000 tons of mesh per year, which is equivalent to 75 million square meters (7,500 hectares) of mesh of average weight. Arrigoni designs, produces and distributes innovative agrotextiles for better climate control and the production of healthier and safer food, as well as outdoor textiles for technical and/or environmental use.