The fotoselectivas meshes could be the new "ally" in the production hortofrutícola

A new mesh prototype, which has certain photoselective properties, is being studied by a group of scientists from the Murcian Institute of Agricultural and Food Research and Development (IMIDA) in conjunction with researchers from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) in Spain.

According to preliminary information, the shading material and colored plastics have the ability to modify the transmission, absorption and reflection of the light entering a greenhouse, which allows intensifying the transmission of light, which in turn It allows the alteration of the spectra of ultraviolet and infrared light that are perceived.

Both institutions reported that the material is already being tested in some orchards in the Region of Murcia. According to some data of the experiment, it has been possible to verify how these optical innovations are capacity to improve the nutritional quality of the fruits, in addition to improving their precocity, yield and repels pests.

Josefa López, a researcher at IMIDA, says that this type of mesh would benefit greenhouse crops in the summer season, because many times they lose presence in international markets, because high temperatures are shown as a limiting factor in certain regions of the world.

On the other hand, Juan Antonio Fernández, professor of the UPCT, is optimistic about the development of the meshes, and explains that these would be able to avoid some climatic accidents, such as blizzards or stony.

"These materials would even be able to protect the crop against pests by blocking ultraviolet radiation, which are essential for the development of insects and diseases such as botritis," says the Spanish scientist.

The researcher of the School of Agronomists of the UPCT also mentions that most of the physiological processes of the development of plants, insects and diseases depend on the amount of light they receive.

"With the use of photoselective meshes you can select the most interesting light components to find the desired physiological effect on the crop and protect them from the incidence of pests and diseases," adds the specialist who is part of the team that carries the investigation.

Although there has been much talk about the possible advantages of photoselective meshes in fruit and vegetable production, those involved in the investigation warn that it is necessary to verify what their effects will be on natural pollinators or also called "useful insects."

Professor Fernández refers to the subject and comments that “the photosynthetic processes of the plant would not be severely affected”. He adds that the tests they carry out are also part of a project that seeks to test innovation for productivity by protecting crops with the use of plastic polymers.

Scientific meeting

Both IMIDA and UPCT organize a symposium that will take place between the 27 and the January 31 of 2019 in the city of Tenerife, Spain. There they intend to present greater results of the investigations carried out with the photoselective meshes, according to the organizers of the event.

The meeting will seek to group the scientific committee associated with both organizations, which is composed of experts in the field of at least 14 countries, which in turn are associated with 34 research centers and universities in Europe.



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