Plasticulture, simply defined, is a system of growing crops wherein a significant benefit is derived from using products derived from plastic polymers. The discovery and development of the polyethylene polymer in the late 1930s, and its subsequent introduction in the early 1950s in the form of plastic films, mulches, and drip-irrigation tubing and tape, revolutionized the commercial production of selected vegetable crops and gave rise to plasticulture. The later discovery of other polymers, such as polyvinyl chloride, polyproplene, and polyesters, and their use in pipes, fertigation equipment, filters, fittings and connectors, and row covers further extended the use of plastic components in this production system. The plasticulture system consists of plastic and nonplastic components: plastic mulches, drip irrigation, fertigation/chemigation, fumigation and solarization, windbreaks, stand establishment technology, season-extending technology, pest management, cropping strategies, and marketing.
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