Crops need to be protected from both terrestrial and aerial enemies for their proper growth. Growth is a natural phenomenon that occurs in every living entity in the world and the enemies of crops are no exception. With the passage of time, the number of weeds, pests and plant diseases have increased and affected the productivity of crops. There are also many types of birds, insects, rodents and animals that damage agricultural crops.
It has been seen that weeds steal the essential nutrients and water from crops, various diseases prevent the growth of the crops, and pests affect them physically. But the terrestrial animals cause the biggest damage to the agricultural crops. To get rid of such diseases, weeds and insects in crops, a lot of insecticides and pesticides are available on the market. Moreover, to avoid aerial and terrestrial enemies, many woven non woven techniques have been developed. We will now keep our focus on net/mesh which can be used to give crops the required protection.
Woven non woven Techniques: Woven
In woven techniques, the crops can be protected from various birds by using bird netting. With this pest control method, crops grown in a particular area are prevented from birds. Bird netting is commonly used for bushy crops, like grapevine, raspberry and blueberry. Depending upon the requirements, it comes in various shapes, sizes and forms. The most common form is small mesh of 1-2 cm square. Although bird netting comes in various colors, black and white are the two most preferred colors. The black color is said to give the UV protection from sunrays whereas white color gives double benefits – firstly it has smaller mesh size and secondly, the plants protected from white mesh also get protection during summer hailstorms or flowering.
Common Uses of Bird Netting
Protecting the Crops
It protects the fruits, vegetable crops and seedlings. Bats and frugivorous birds usually cause serious damage to crops, as they have the habit to peck one fruit and go to another, ruining a major portion of crop. Even if a small portion of fruit is eaten, it can’t be sold in the market. To ensure the protection, Bird netting is used directly to the plant or on the adjacent ventilation window of growing tunnel in case of bushy crops.
It is used to protect fish in ‘fish wildlife reserve’ and ‘fisheries’ from the predatory birds. The growers use this woven technique to protect their fish from the predator birds. The color of the net used is usually white so that sea birds can see it from a distance and do not dive in the pond.
To bird-proof the buildings, bird netting is the most effective and durable method. The premises remain protected because it acts as a dense and discreet barrier.
While extracting metals and minerals from the crushed rocks, miners use chemicals and these chemicals poison the water of the ponds; causing harm to the wildlife. So, to prevent the wildlife, this woven technique is used.
Woven non woven Techniques: Nonwoven
In the nonwoven techniques of crop protection, shade cloth is most commonly used. These nonwoven clothes are made of polypropylene and are generally used to cover the crops or make greenhouse tents. They are also used in gardens, decks, livestock areas, and any other area where sunlight needs to be restricted. Shade cloth provides crops the protection from the sun, wind and unwanted insects. In short, the plants receive complete privacy under shade cloth. A shade cloth is made in custom-designed panels where it is molded and constructed to meet the specific requirements of the farmers. These clothes are made according to the shade percentage, usually 20 to 95 percent and this percentage completely depends upon the requirement of the buyer.
Advantages of shade cloth
The crops remain protected from it especially in hot and sunny weathers. It is true that sunlight is a necessity for healthy growth of plants, but it is also true that most plants do not require a lot of it. A shade cloth with the required shade percentage can be used in such conditions to create partial or full shade environment. Moreover, plants will require less watering since they will not dry out quickly.
Exterior Rooms Protection
The houses whose exterior rooms get too much sun exposure can be prevented by using shade cloth. The temperature of that room will be significantly reduced and the cost incurred in cooling the room can be saved. Moreover, curtains can stay open and natural light can come in through the windows without the blinding sunlight effects.
This benefit is mostly realized by people who own a swimming pool. They can comfortably wear a swimsuit, as there won’t have any fear of prying eyes from the neighbouring yards or street. Moreover, anyone unknown will not come to know about the gathering or party at home.
In summer or warmer conditions, people do outdoor activities like outdoor pool, social gatherings, cooking in the yards, or just lounge and enjoy the weather. In these situations, direct sun can be bothersome and dangerous. The natural environment can be moderated by this nonwoven technique and any sunburns can be protected. When shade cloth is used, the need to wait till the evening can be eliminated and lengthy timeframes can be spent outside.
Although shade cloth come in both woven non woven forms, the nonwoven one provides more benefits, like higher uniformity, more strength per basis weight, high tensile and tear strength, dimensional stability, consistent performance in high temperature and flexibility; i.e., it can be customized according to the farmers’ needs.