DNP Develops Reflective, Moisture Preserving Agri Film

Suitable for fruit and vegetable cultivation

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed a reflective, moisture preserving film for agricultural uses. DNP has applied the film deposition technology and lamination technology developed over many years in the food packaging area, and in addition to increasing light reflective features, has also provided this new film with the optimal moisture retention attributes for crop production, and the resilience needed for prolonged use. Following tomato cultivation tests at an agricultural experimental station, the first harvest between April and July, 2014 garnered yields approximately twice those of products from other companies. The new agri film will be launched in early 2015.

[Development]

Fruit and vegetable cultivation use a variety of agri film with such objectives as preventing weed growth, reducing a rise in soil temperature, and promoting crop growth via light reflection. Black polythene film has been used in many cases to date, but recently pen culture, protected horticulture and the closed growing systems referred to as vegetable factories, are seeing increased use of white or silver film to enhance reflective functions, in order to increase yield and sugar content. In many instances, however, even if the surface of the film is white or silver, the reverse side of the film is black, and the light reflective features of the film have been lacking.

There are also instances of using non-woven fabric type high-reflective white sheet formed, but this type is unable to prevent water evaporation and presents moisture retention challenges. In order to surmount these challenges, DNP has developed a highly reflective, moisture retaining film with superior resilience that combines highly light reflective features with the optimal moisture retention attributes allowing for crop growth.  

[DNP Agri Film]

  • The DNP agri film is a highly reflective film capable of reflecting 95% of visible light. Using the film helps to offset insufficient light in open culture, protected horticulture and vegetable factories, effectively promoting light synthesis. The film is also highly effective in promoting coloration in mangos for example, and prevents uneven coloring.
  • The film cuts out light generated heat, and reduces a rise in soil temperature.
  • As a result of suitable moisture retention qualities, in addition to maintaining the necessary moisture for crop production, it is also possible to prevent fertilizer evaporation.
  • Two types of film can be provided for crop development and channel reflection. The channel reflection film exhibits increased strength and water permeable features in addition to high reflection and moisture retention attributes.

[Verification Test Case]

  • Test period: April 24 - July 30, 2014
  • Test crop: Tomatoes
  • Test summary: Comparison testing of instances employing DNP agri film in a greenhouse, against cases where the film was not used. Yields were surveyed in three locations; north east (A), central part of greenhouse (B), and south west (C). As a result it was revealed that using the DNP agri film produced a yield effect approximately 2X that of other commercially marketed products.

Other verification studies are underway, and the results are being assessed.

  • Photo 1 shows tomato and strawberry cultivation in high-roofed greenhouses.
  • Photo 2 shows hydroponic soil cultivation a method for efficient food growth by watering and fertilizing vegetables in small amounts each day.
  • Vegetable factory-based lettuce cultivation.1
  • Drip irrigation cultivation-based tomato cultivation.2

 

1: A system facilitating continuous production of crops regardless of the season through the use of LED lighting and artificial culture liquid delivery.
2: A method for watering with a preset hose or sprinkler

(left) Photo 1: Test image
(right) Photo 2: Test image

[Looking Ahead]

DNP will market the newly developed agri film (reflective, moisture preserving film) to open culture, protected horticulture and vegetable factory operators both in Japan and overseas, aiming for sales of 2.0 billion yen per year.

 

* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.