As a farmer or fruit producer, yours is a crucial role. It’s a noble task- feeding your countrymen (and women) and the world with your exports. Then, as a business owner, you owe it to your business and your staff to keep your business profitable. After all, good companies can better serve their customers.
A simple tool is available at your disposal to increase the profitability of your orchard. We are talking about the use of reflective ground film. Let’s dive into exactly what this is and how reflective ground film can help your fruit-growing business.
What is Reflective Ground Film？
Reflective ground film or reflective ground screen is a type of agro-protective textile. It is a reflective fabric that reflects light to the plants, mainly targeting the underside of the canopy. As the name suggests, it is a reflective ground film, meaning that this film is applied on the ground of your orchard.
Several varieties of reflective ground covers are available- woven fabric, aluminum-based plastic film, and others. Because of their highly reflective nature, these films ensure that your fruits and/or vegetables receive a maximum of UV light, which would otherwise have been lost in the ground. The simple act of getting additional light has a profound impact on fruit size, fruit color, and to some extent, fruit taste as well. And obviously, these factors are directly related to profitability.
In the following paragraphs, we will see precisely how reflective ground films help achieve all of these benefits.
The Life-Giving Impact of Light
We have been studying since grade 2 the importance of light for all living beings, including plants. Refer to our blog on the top 6 benefits of UV light to plants. The lighter the plant receives, the greater the rate of photosynthesis, which results in a higher quality of fruits.
Studies have shown that light directly influences the following parameters of fruit quality:
- Color of the fruit
- Fruit size
- Maturity time or Time to Harvest
The above parameters are crucial factors that directly impact your fruit sales and profitability.
At the time of buying, the visual experience plays an essential role in the decision-making. Apples that are big and have an appealing red color will be chosen over paler, smaller apples. With the use of the reflective ground screen, you can achieve these results at a relatively low cost. It, therefore, makes good business sense to go for it.
Before going further, let us understand the reason why your orchard may not be getting enough light and thus why your orchard needs reflective ground film.
3 Reasons your Orchard Needs Reflective Ground Film
Thicker Canopy Prevents Light Penetration
Fruit quality is not only impacted by the amount of light but also by the quality of light distribution. With a thicker canopy, there is uneven light distribution. The fruits at the lower end do not receive enough light and are therefore likely to be of poor quality.
Protective Crop Covers Inhibits Light
Sometimes, climatic conditions necessitate the use of hail cover or other covers for crop protection. Such coverings, due to their nature, inhibit the penetration of light to the fruits.
Impact of Climatic Conditions
All plants have their individual optimal climatic conditions for providing the best quality fruits. For instance, apples require clear days with temperatures in the range of 25 deg C and cool nights that have a temperature setting of around 15 deg C. At these temperature conditions, the plants carry out optimal canopy photosynthesis, resulting in good quality fruits.
In the course of the growing season, climatic changes can occur, which will upset this delicate balance, impacting the fruit quality. The use of reflective ground film ensures that the canopy photosynthesis remains uniform, ensuring optimal fruit quality.
4 Ways Reflective Ground Film Improves Fruit Quality
Impact on Color
Multiple studies have shown that the use of reflective ground film plays a role in enhancing the color of fruits, thereby improving the visual appeal. Improvement in color may be attributed to the catalytic effect of light on enzyme activity responsible for coloration. For example, in apples, the red pigment precursor cyanidin is transformed chemically into the red pigment idea when it receives adequate light. The reflective ground film does this job. Studies have observed an increase in red coloration of apples in as little as four days from the use of the reflective ground film.
Impact of Fruit Size
Studies have shown the use of reflective ground film has an impact in improving the size of the fruit, along with improved coloration.
Impact on Time to Harvest
Overall, time to harvest is reduced, ensuring that you have more products in a shorter duration.
Impact on Fruit Taste
The Brix level is an indication of the sweetness of the fruits. All fruits have a proportion of Total Soluble Solids (TSS), which get converted to sugar on storage. The use of reflective ground film has an effect on increasing the Brix level, thereby improving the taste.
Are you Ready for Reflective Ground Film for your Orchard?
While all the above are good enough reasons to invest in reflective ground film for your orchard, here is the deal maker.
4 Ways Reflective Ground Film Increases your Profitability
Enhances the Percentage of ‘Excellent Quality’ Fruits
As we have seen, the use of reflective ground film has a positive impact on fruit color, size, and taste. The fruit size and color are physical appearance/appeal parameters that directly impact your sales and profitability. The higher the percentage of such ‘excellent quality fruits you produce, the greater is your profitability.
Reduces Time to Harvest
By ensuring uniform light distribution and penetration, reflective ground films ensure that all fruits mature to harvest at the same time. This reduces time and effort spent in multiple pickings, thus adding to your profitability. Reduced time in harvest means more rest time in between harvest cycles.
Fruits Store Bette and Improve with Storage
The use of reflective ground films ensures early harvest. This ensures that the fruits store better especially with the long transport time in exports. Also, the early harvest and beneficial impact of light due to reflective ground film ensures that the taste continues to improve in transit, ultimately delighting your end customer and keeping your bottom lines happy too.
An Easy and Simple Process
It is recommended to use the reflective ground films 3-4 weeks prior to harvest for the best results. Thus, the process is for a short duration. Using our reflective ground films is easy and comes with simple, implementable instructions. Of course, the economical price and on-time shipping ensure that you get all the benefits without any hassles.
Sometimes it is the little things that make a big impact. As a commercial fruit farmer, why would you want to leave things like fruit color and size to chance. There is an easy and proven solution to ensure that you have great color and excellent quality fruits by using reflective ground films from EyouAgro.
We are here to help you.