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Swedish Strawberry Producer Uses BioAgri* Compostable Film

*BioBag Agricultural Film is sold under the name “BioAgri” in European markets and “BioBag Ag Film” in North American markets.

Peter Löfvenholm from BioBag and Ola Svensson from Finnerödja
inspect the BioAgri film three months after planting. 

Swedish strawberry producer Finnerödja recently chose to test BioAgri – a compostable and biodegradable alternative to traditional agricultural mulch film. After one year, Finnerödja concluded the addition of BioAgri was a success, and they are looking forward to using the compostable films again during the upcoming season.

Sustainable Agriculture with BioAgri Compostable Films

With a desire to achieve more sustainable agriculture, the Swedish strawberry producer Finnerödja tested the compostable mulch film BioAgri. The characteristics of BioAgri mulch film are the same as in conventional PE plastics, but the difference is that BioAgri can be tilled into the soil when crops are harvested. BioAgri does not require the inconvenience and high cost of removal and disposal of the agricultural film, which is unavoidable with traditional PE plastic. By using BioAgri, farmers can also avoid plastic residues in the field and, at the same time, help to ensure a healthier environment. BioAgri degrades via microorganisms found naturally in the soil.

The main reason for Finneröjda to test BioAgri in their strawberry fields was to avoid the problems that come with the remains of conventional plastic films leftover in the ground. “The idea is that we avoid the handling and disposal of traditional plastics, which have been both expensive and time consuming for us,” says Ola Svensson from Finnerödja. Statements from a selection of strawberry growers show that it usually costs about $2000 per hectare for the disposal of traditional plastic films.

The Same Qualities as Traditional Film

BioAgri comes in different thicknesses to fit different cycles. Finnerödja wanted the film to break down early so strawberry cuttings could grow up next to the main plant. Svensson expects to experiment with a thinner film in the coming year and says there are not many other certified compostable films on the market that could support a 1-3 year old plant.

Finnerödja strawberry field with BioAgri, six months after planting

“Other films have poorer mechanical properties and are not certified as compostable in soil, and that makes BioBag BioAgri agricultural mulch film work perfectly, especially for strawberries.” He continues, “The main advantage with BioAgri is that it is certified compostable and biodegradable in soil, and it gives no soil contamination. It is also a great advantage that there is no additional cost for the removal of the film, as it is simply plowed into the ground.”

Laying BioAgri Agricultural Film

Laying BioAgri agricultural mulch film is done with the same equipment as used for conventional PE plastic mulch film. “We had no problems when laying the mulch film with our standard equipment. What you should remember is to be a little more careful so you do not stretch the film too much, as the material is made of natural raw materials,” says Svensson.

Environment

“As an example, 8 years ago we had to prepare a field for cultivation. As we began to plow the land, we found old traditional PE plastic in the soil, which was still there after eight years,” Svensson describes. “I recommend everyone use the product, especially those who are leasing land. It will leave the soil in good condition.”

Facts About Finnerödja

For over 50 years, Finnerödja has been producing strawberries. In 1987, they were taken over by OspAB Finnerödja Bär AB. Today, Finnerödja is a business in Olle Svensson Partiaffär AB and handles about 3.5 million liters of fresh strawberries each year. The strawberry grower company Purple Rösjö Farm AB grows strawberries on 43 hectares and sells the entire crop to Finnerödja and Olle Svensson Partiaffär AB.

About BioAgri Agricultural Film

BioAgri agricultural film, compared to traditional plastic film:

  • Biodegradable in soil
  • Customized life span, tailored for different crops
  • No removal necessary
  • No disposal costs
  • No residues in the field
  • Faster access to the field
  • Certified for organic farming
  • An efficient alternative, in both agronomic and environmental terms to traditional plastic film
  • Saves time and therefore costs required to remove and dispose of traditional plastic film
  • Offers a family of grades fit for purpose

Successful Danish Winegrowers Use BioAgri*

*BioBag Agricultural Film is sold under the name “BioAgri” in European markets and “BioBag Ag Film” in North American markets.

The vines, planted with BioAgri Compostable Film, on the field towards the fjord.

For many years, Hvidlykke Farm in Denmark has focused on organic farming and fruit growing. Niels Esbjerg Jensen and Anders Ørnberg Eriksen, the owners behind Ørnberg Wine, had always believed it was possible to grow wine in Denmark.

In 2007, two winegrowers began making wine. It was intended to be only a hobby, but they have since become very successful winemakers with their multi-award-winning brand Ørnberg Wine.

“Our vision is to create a professional Danish vineyard, producing wine with Danish character and international quality,” says winegrower Niels Esbjerg Jensen.

While they strive to get it right the first time, something they’ve been able to accomplish through studying extensive theoretical knowledge of viticulture from a German winegrower, they are also constantly looking for ways to improve their practices.

Twenty-two hundred vines were planted on one of Hvidlykke Farm’s fields in 2007. This field used traditional plastic to protect the vines from weeds. “But it turned out to be too difficult to remove the plastic film,” says Jensen, adding, “We have spent so much time and energy trying to remove the plastic from the field, but even after eight years, there are still remnants of plastic that pollute the field.”

After 8 years, the conventional plastic films can still be found in the ground.

When Jensen heard it was possible to use compostable film, he was convinced it should be tested in his fields. In the spring of 2015, the first field was planted with new vines and compostable film instead of traditional plastic. The main advantage of compostable films is that one does not have to remove the film since it can be degraded by the microorganisms found naturally in the soil. This property of the compostable film eliminates the need to spend the time and resources that are necessary to later remove plastic films.

The Benefits of Compostable Film for Vineyards

“There are several reasons that we wanted to test BioAgri on the new vineyard,” says Jensen. “With BioAgri, we do not need to worry about removing weeds, and, as organic farmers, we do not use chemicals on our fields. BioAgri keeps the film moisture in the soil, which thereby gives new vines the best conditions for growth.”

Ørnberg Wine expects that the composting process will be underway by August, the year after which new vines were planted. Because of the compostable film, the vines had a good start and have been protected from weeds.

“One of the main benefits of the compostable film is that it disappears by itself. We do not contaminate our soil with plastic,” says Jensen. “In the long run, it will be a cheaper option for us. We used to spend many hours and a lot of money on both the removal and disposal of plastic films after use.”

The Laying of BioAgri Film

Hvidlykke Farm uses the same equipment to lay BioAgri Compostable Film
as they used to place conventional plastic films.

When laying the compostable film, the winegrowers used the same equipment they used with conventional plastic films. “It required some small adjustments of the width to fit the 1 meter wide film, but otherwise, we experienced no difference to traditional plastic film,” says Jensen.

Facts About Ørnberg Wine

Niels Esbjerg Jensen and Anders Ørnberg Eriksen established Ørnberg Wine in 2007. In 2014, production reached 12,000 bottles of wine from almost 7,000 vines. In 2013, the two winegrowers received four awards, including the year’s Best Wine, Best White Wine, Best Rosé, and Best Dessert Wine.

About BioAgri Agricultural Film

BioAgri Agricultural Film, compared to traditional plastic film:

  • Biodegradable in soil
  • Customized life span, tailored for different crops
  • No removal necessary
  • No disposal costs
  • No residues in the field
  • Faster access to the field
  • Certified for organic farming
  • An efficient alternative, in both agronomic and environmental terms to traditional plastic film
  • Saves time and therefore costs required to remove and dispose of traditional plastic film
  • Offers a family of grades fit for purpose