March 18, 2020

Thermo-reflective screens show positive results for lettuce growing

Arrigoni, a leading international company in the production of technical fabrics for agriculture, has presented new tests on the effectiveness of the Prisma thermo-reflective screens and Biorete Air Plus for fresh-cut salads and other vegetables.

A large audience of agronomist technicians met in Battipaglia in southern Italy to discuss the testing. Among these, Prisma — white protective screens that guarantees temperature control — were the main topic of the meeting.

Prisma Thermo-Reflective screens.

Giuseppe Netti, agronomist and member of Arrigoni’s R&D Team, explained that the mechanism of action of Prisma thermo-reflective screens. “Thanks to the special light diffusion additives formulated by the Arrigoni laboratory and added to the yarn in the production phase, the light spreads more evenly around the plant, even in the lower parts,” Netti said via a press release. “Prisma also ensures lowering of the temperature without reducing the passage of light in the PAR spectrum (Photosynthetically Active Radiation). These combined effects greatly reduce sunburn damage and improve the quality and quantity of production. The lower temperature also facilitates the work.”

The shading systems used so far, such as the nets in black color, have proven to operate by cutting the useful radiation, but with little reduction in temperature. This is explained by the fact that colors other than white absorb short infrared (heat) then transferred inside. 

For total protection from insects, Arrigoni recommends Biorete Air Plus also for baby leaf producers. The innovative insect screens have monofilament of low denier (thickness) and high resistance for greater ventilation and safe production. There are several advantages that this solution ensures, including better ventilation with the same level of protection, further reduced temperatures inside greenhouses, reduced occurrence of cryptogamic diseases, better plant development, better quality and sensorial properties of production.

The meeting was also an opportunity to present the results of the field tests recently conducted at the Vitrosele srl, which specializes in the development of horticultural productions. The search for innovation of this company has promoted the development of a research laboratory for genetic improvement and micro-propagation, of a nursery for the setting and development of seedlings, as well as of various test fields and greenhouses. 

Antonietta Boffa, technical manager of production of Vitrosele, is responsible for the development and growth phases of the micro-propagated artichoke seedlings in vitro. 

“Light is a very important component in our activity, but it must be homogeneous in all periods of the year. In the warmer months, we must be able to control the excessive heat in greenhouses,” Boffa said. “Since we adopted Arrigoni’s Prisma thermo-reflective screens, we have noticed not only a drop in temperatures compared to the previously installed solutions, but also a significant vegetative improvement of the plant thanks precisely to the more balanced lighting given by these particular screens.”

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