Economic Evaluation of Biodegradable Plastic Films in Tennessee Pumpkin Production

Velandia, Galinato, Wszelaki
2019 Agronomy  
The use of polyethylene mulch in vegetable production is considered unsustainable because of its contribution to soil plastic pollution. Plastic biodegradable mulches (BDMs) are a more sustainable option because they are tilled into the soil or composted at the end of the cropping season, and designed to decompose into water, carbon dioxide, and microbial biomass, reducing soil plastic pollution. Regardless of the potential environmental benefits associated with the use of BDMs, farmers will
more » ... Ms, farmers will have to evaluate the changes in profits when transitioning from polyethylene (PE) mulch to BDM before deciding to adopt BDMs. This study evaluates the factors associated with the economic feasibility of adopting BDM in pumpkin production using a partial budget and sensitivity analyses. Results suggest that the cost of BDM, labor costs, and sale price discounts, due to mulch adhesion in pumpkin fruit have the greatest impact on profits when transitioning from PE mulch to BDM. When assuming current market prices for PE mulch and BDM, the 2019 Tennessee Adverse Effect wage rate, and no price discounts, transitioning from PE mulch to BDM results in a positive impact on profits. When assuming a 5% price discount, this transition results in a negative impact on profits.
doi:10.3390/agronomy10010051 fatcat:wcldjzheazh5hbyem3fjajzefm