Have you ever heard that textile has massively been used in agriculture? If No Stay with what is agro textiles are? It is the future backbone of Agriculture. Agricultural or agro textiles are among the underrated sectors among the 12 types of technical textiles. I will take a tour with Agro Textile.
What is Agro Textile?
The word “agro textiles” comes from the word Agrotechnical textiles. It is a part of technical textile material, including woven, nonwoven, and knit materials, which are used in the agricultural field or sector and are known as Agricultural technical textiles, Agrotechnical textiles, or Simply Agro Textiles. It is also popularly known as Agrotech.
Agricultural technical textiles are widely used to safeguard agriculture, horticulture, gardening, forestry, and fishing. Agricultural textile practice can make a revolution by complementing the strengths of the farming sector. It has the potential to resolve multidimensional agri problems and solutions being faced by the agro-industry.
Agricultural technical textiles help protect, collect, and store agro products to minimize the effect of adverse climate harsh conditions on agricultural products.
The main functions required from aggrotech are:
- Protecting and supporting
- Storing and packaging.
For this reason, Geotech (Geo-Textiles), packtech(packaging textiles), Indutech (Industrial textiles), Protech(protection textile), and build tech(construction textiles), etc. technical textile materials used in the agro sector, which are considered essential parts of Agrotech.
Properties of Agro textiles
- Weather resistance.
- Withstands solar radiation & UV radiation.
- High potential to retain water.
- Weed control and soil moisture conservation.
- Shield from pesticides from crops.
- Resistance to micro-organisms.
Application of Agrotech
According to the functions, agricultural textile applications can be applied in 3 segments:
- Covering: Covers
- Protecting and supporting: Netting (Plain, Woven, Knit, Nonwoven sheet)
- Storing and packaging: Bag
The agricultural covering is widely used in various bowls of cereal, vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc. It is Simple in structure, but durable, high quality, and inexpensive. The agricultural covering has multiple protective functions like the shading of light, cooling, humidification, anti-frost, storm, sandstorm, hail damage, and so on. There are some popular types of covering used in Agrotech, such as:
Ground Cover Net:
It is a highly versatile covering used for weed control, moisture conservation, and separation as well. It is very effective in suppressing competitive weed growth. Besides, it preserves soil moisture and maintains a clean surface. Additionally, it protects from ultraviolet rays. Ground cover net offers a healthy environment for favorable plant growth.
Nonwoven Capillary Mat:
Nonwoven capillary mats are used for the healthy growth of organic flowers and vegetables in greenhouses and gardens by using soil-fewer growing methods. It is engineered to optimize both water and fertilizer absorption, distribution, storage, and distribution to the individual plant.
Sunscreen is a popular in the name of shade cloth in the textile industry. It protects fields and greenhouses from intense solar radiation. Sunscreen is one of the essential things for healthy plant growth. It has an open mesh construction. It is used to control sunshine and the amount of shade required. Shade cloth is a breathable fabric that allows the air to flow effectively. Therefore, no excess temperature does not build there.
Aluminet is an intelligent shade material made from metalized HDPE. HDPE gives the netting fiber durability and longevity. It is made from aluminum, making it lightweight and easy to install. The properties of aluminum allow Aluminet to function like a mirror during summer months and reflect unwanted sunlight and heat from designated areas.
A mulch mat is a layer of textile material applied to the surface of the soil. It is used to suppress weed growth in farming areas. It covers the ground, blocking light which helps to prevent the weed.
It is very useful to protect plants from insects and the butterfly. It is also popular as cabbage butterfly netting. A moth can harm the cabbage, and cabbage netting will insulate the moth to grow the cabbage properly. It is an effective way to keep out pesky locusts. It can also be used as an excellent vegetable cage. Cabbage plants grow well in cages, producing more heads when protected from the wind.
Cherry farming is an uncertain business because of its vulnerability to the climate. A cherry cover helps the farmer to solve one of the biggest problems they face is the creaking of fully ripened fruits. The cherry covers protect the orchard from fruit damage caused by rain. It’s manufactured to face different problems by offering protection from fog, rain, hail, and wind.
2. Protecting and Supporting
There are several types of specialized protection netting used all over the world.
Hail Nets are used to cover plants and fruits to protect them from being damaged by hailstone. It’s fabricated with TPU coating, generally applied in protective shelters. The high-density anti-hail nets protect crops from the damage caused by the hits of hail and heavy wind.
Bird Protection Netting:
Bird protection netting is an efficient protection of seeds and fruit against being damaged by birds and locusts. It is famous for pigeon netting. A bird protection net is an efficient bird control way involving nets’ application to prevent birds from designated areas. It is widely used to protect crops and buildings from bird damage.
Windbreaks are made from fine-mesh, tear-resistant with heavy-duty fabricated polyethylene filament. It protects flowers, fruits, and other plantings from strong wind. Flexible windbreak netting is specifically manufactured to protect from high winds and animals, such as birds, who may ravage plants in farm areas.
Anti-frost netting is an effective way to block cold winds and provide essential protection. It reduces wind speed up to 70% as it passes, allowing sufficient air through the plastic netting mesh size. Anti-frost netting offers excellent wind speed reduction, allowing adequate air to enable plants to breathe. In this way, Anti-Frost nets provide cold wind protection to plants and house-farmed animals.
Anti-insect netting is made of thin fabric. It is similar to a row cover yet more delicate and more porous. It is used on plants where it has to withstand significant insects and locust pressure. It dispatches up to 85% sunlight. Meanwhile, it does not block the fog and rain. Additionally, it prevents disease or the spread of weeds. Ant-Insect Net is a cost-effective way to keep insects out of farming areas meanwhile penetrating the sunlight in.
3. Storing and Packing
Woven Polypropylene Bags:
Woven polypropylene bags are known as WPP. It is a very lightweight, breathable packaging material designed for transporting a variety of agricultural products. It has additional ventilation support to allow maximum breathability. Commonly used for grain, feed, seeds, and beans packing and storing.
Root Ball Net:
Root Ball netting is a natural knit net to transplant plants and shrubs. It is manufactured to replace the exhausting process of hand-tying burlap. It eliminates the cost of containerization and produces a professional-looking package. Root Ball netting is highly effective for young plants’ safe and speedy growth. The plant will not be damaged when it is dug up, transported, or replanted.
Nets for Covering Pallets
Often export-oriented fruit are covered with mesh netting. The pallets help to prevent the fruits from being turned down. For safe transportation, a Net covering is used to prevent damage to fruits during transportation.
Global Market Share
Once, Agro-tech had a small consumption of around 8.2% by volume of the international technical textiles market in 2010. Technical textiles have been used in agricultural textiles for many years. The Agrotech market has a boost in production after post-COVID is expected in the future. After covid-19 agro textiles sector is one of the most vital growing sectors to meet the demand for higher quality food.
Agricultural technical textiles producing countries are Taiwan, China, the USA, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Canada, India, and Bangladesh. The global agricultural technical textiles market was expected to grow from $6.5 billion in 2005 to US$8.1 billion in 2010. Then the average growth rate was 3.9% per year. A CAGR of 7.8% is expected to meet the goal of agrotech. According to a DRA study, Globally, the consumption of agrotech increased from 3.3% in 2000 to 3.9% by 2010.
The global market of the agricultural technical textile industry was estimated at $9.37 billion in 2021. It is forecasted to reach $13.04 billion by 2028. A comprehensive report of the global agrotech market published in 2021 proves that agro-textiles have an $ 8.4 billion market share, which accounts for 6% of the total technical textile market globally. According to the prediction, aggrotech will cross $13,458.7 Million gross production by 2027, according to Fortune Business Insights.
Technological advancement of agriculture has greatly improved with the help of technical textiles. The application of textiles in the agriculture sector is widely used, from crop production to conservation. The combination of agricultural textiles and agricultural technology has improved agriculture all over the world.
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