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Soil Health

Polyethylene (PE) mulch needs to be removed from the field at the end of the growing season. Even though PE mulch is removed, fragments usually remain causing concerns about soil health. Soil-biodegradable mulch (BDM) is designed to be tilled into the soil at the end of the season. Fragments of BDM still remain in the soil as it degrades and there is concern that these residual fragments could also impact soil health. Studies to date show that BDMs do not have immediate negative impacts on soil health. However, the potential for long term effects need to be studied.

Scientific Publications

Additional Resources

USDA NIFA (logo)
Award nos. 2022-51181-38325, 2019-51181-30012 & 2014-51181-22382

Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) (logo)


WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (logo)

Washington Raspberries (logo)


Improving end-of-life management of plastic mulch in strawberry systems