KURARAY POVAL™ for agriculture: Higher yields and improved sustainability
The vitality of the soil, temperature and rain have an enormous influence on yields of cereal crops, fruit and vegetables. The KURARAY POVAL™ brand of polyvinyl alcohols (PVOH) helps reduce dependence on these external influences. The polymers are used as seed coatings, soil conditioners, and binders and additives for fertilisers and agrochemicals. They enhance plant growth, improve yields and help reduce the amount of agrochemicals used – before sowing and right up to harvesting.
The right soil structure for optimum growth
“The structure of the soil is important for plant growth,” explains Heiko Mack, Head of Poval Business at Kuraray Europe. “KURARAY POVAL™ is soluble in water, biodegradable and does not constitute a health risk. That makes it highly suitable for agricultural use. As soil conditioners, for example, PVOH resins optimise the physical properties of the soil.” Applying KURARAY POVAL™ ensures long-lasting optimisation of the soil structure, so humidity and nutrients are retained in the plant layer for longer. At the same time, surplus water is channelled more quickly to the lower layers of the soil.
Protective coatings for perfect timing of germination
Coating seeds with KURARAY POVAL™ prevents premature germination at cold temperatures in the spring and therefore greatly increases harvest yields. “Unfavourable environmental conditions such as frost immediately after sowing can damage seeds and young plants and significantly reduce the yield of a field,” according to Heiko Mack. “Seeds coated with KURARAY POVAL™ PVOH resin only germinate when the temperature and humidity are right.” And there is another benefit: a KURARAY POVAL™ coating protects the seeds from damage and dust. That reduces dust emissions during sowing.
More accurate application of fertilisers and crop protection products
“During pelleting, a KURARAY POVAL™ coating containing fertilisers, insecticides and fungicides is applied to the seeds,” says Heiko Mack. “That ensures the active ingredients are channelled to exactly where they are needed and improves the germination and vigour of plants and their ability to become established.” This method allows accurate dosing of agrochemicals and reduces the total amount of agrochemicals required. And that increases safety and reduces environmental impact. Using KURARAY POVAL™ as a binder for agrochemicals in granulated form has similar benefits. The excellent bonding capacity of this PVOH resin improves the stability of granulated fertilisers and creates optimum conditions to control the release of the active ingredients and spread it evenly over a longer time.
Better adhesion for more efficient crop protection
Farmers often spray crops to protect them from insects and disease and optimise their ongoing growth process. KURARAY POVAL™ spray additives increase the efficacy of the agrochemicals.
The success of spraying tends to be weather-dependent. Heavy rainfall can wash agrochemicals off before they have a chance to take effect. KURARAY POVAL™ improves the rain resistance of the products applied in this way.” That means they are more effective, so it reduces spraying of agrochemicals, which in turn increases sustainability.Heiko Mack, Head of Poval Business at Kuraray
PVOH materials for the entire crop cycle
“Thanks to its unique properties, KURARAY POVAL™ is suitable for a variety of agricultural applications covering the entire production cycle of a field, from tilling of the soil to harvesting the crop. KURARAY POVAL™ foils also counter soil erosion, for example, on slopes,” says Heiko Mack. “Our broad spectrum of PVOH materials means we can offer the ideal properties for many different applications – from agriculture through the paper, adhesives, textile and construction industries to ceramics, packaging and electronics.”