Polytunnel films launched at Horti Fair

Two ultrathin grades of polytunnel film launched by XL Horticulture under its SuperThermic brand.


XL Horticulture of Devon used last week's Horti Fair trade show in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to launch two new ultrathin grades of polytunnel film under the SuperThermic brand.

Director Joe Lane said: "You want to keep long-wave infrared light in your tunnel. SunMaster reflects 95 per cent of that back in, rather than just the 85 per cent of a normal film.

"That keeps your night-time temperatures higher and keeps frost out, and saving you energy. It's as green as polythene can be."

XL Horticulture also runs its own nursery, where the thermal polythene has given protection down to at least -4 degsC, he said. "Trials elsewhere have shown that it is as effective at retaining heat as a glasshouse with thermal screens, yet at less than EUR1 per square metre, it's no more expensive than other films."

The virtue of its Sterilite variant, meanwhile, is that it blocks ultraviolet light of up to 350nm. "This is the wavelength that aphids use to see and navigate," he added. "If they can't do that, they are much easier to treat - and fortunately it doesn't affect their predators."

Made on the Greek island of Crete, the films are getting ever thinner, fellow director Les Lane added. "Yet there is no compromise on strength. One grower on the Isles of Scilly, one of the windiest parts of the UK, is already using these films without any problems."

He added: "We are now looking for distributors in Europe because no one else is selling anything quite like it."

Pest traps - Products launched by Agralan

Agralan used Horti Fair to launch four new pest traps developed from Horticultural Development Company-funded research at East Malling Research and the University of Greenwich.

The traps target Dasineura mali, the apple leaf curling midge; Dasineura plicatrix, the blackberry leaf gall midge; Lygocoris pabulinus, the common green capsid; and Lygus rugulipennis, the tarnished plant bug.

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