The endlessly variable characteristics of nonwoven textiles make them ideal for landscaping and agricultural applications, especially where there is a need to control moisture or provide a barrier against pests or other environmental factors. Since it’s easy to change the manufacturing process to produce the right mix of characteristics, the use of nonwovens has skyrocketed in these areas. Here are a few places where nonwovens are playing increasingly important roles.
Poultry and livestock protection
Agricultural companies often use nonwoven textiles in the walls of poultry or livestock enclosures. The nonwovens have the ability to allow light and air to enter the pens but keep insects or excess heat out, ensuring more comfort for the animals.
Insect barriers and protective netting
Especially when growing delicate and delicious items such as strawberries, cherries or other foods that insects, birds and wildlife find attractive, nonwoven textiles make excellent barriers. The perforations in the fabric can be small enough to keep out insects and birds while still allowing sufficient moisture and sunlight to penetrate so the crops ripen naturally.
Sod or turf production
Acting as a substrate for growing sod, nonwoven textiles ensure a dense, even turf that is easy to handle during shipment and installation. Typically, the nonwovens used in this application are tinted green or black during manufacturing so they are unobtrusive when installed. The nonwovens degrade harmlessly over time once they’ve been installed, making them environmentally friendly as well as efficient.
Consistent moisture in greenhouses
Needle punched nonwovens absorb water by capillary action and help to ensure consistent levels of moisture in the soil and the atmosphere in greenhouses and other growing environments. This helps reduce the costs of growing by conserving water and reducing the need for frequent watering.
Nonwovens help protect delicate crops from freezing during their most vulnerable growing seasons. Nonwoven textiles do a better job than traditional mulch, hemp or hay bales, and they are easier to use than a more traditional barrier is. In addition, growers can remove these shields when the danger of a late frost passes and reapply them to protect crops from early frosts near the end of the growing season. Nonwoven textiles increase crop yields dramatically while keeping labor costs in line.
The bottom line is agrotextiles are here to stay. The question is: how much more can we do with them?
Blog image courtesy SimonHowden/freedigitalphotos.net