Get access

Spectral Properties of Selected UV-blocking and UV-transmitting Covering Materials with Application for Production of High-value Crops in High Tunnels

Authors

  • Donald T. Krizek,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD
    • To whom correspondence should be addressed: USDA, ARS, ANRI, Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory, Bldg. 001, Rm. 140, BARC-West, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA. Fax: 301-504-8370; e-mail: krizekd@ba.aras.usda.gov

    Search for more papers by this author
  • H. David Clark,

    1. Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Roman M. Mirecki

    1. Phytonutrients Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Phytonutrients Laboratory, Beltsville, MD
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Presented in part at the 31st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Photobiology, 5–9 July 2003, Baltimore, MD.

ABSTRACT

The spectral properties of selected UV-blocking and UV-transmitting covering materials were characterized by means of a UV–VIS spectroradiometer or a UV–VIS spectrometer to provide researchers and growers with guidelines for selecting suitable materials for use in studying the effects of ambient solar UV radiation on the production of tomatoes and other high-value crops in high tunnels. A survey was made of a wide range of plastic covering materials to identify commercially available products that had the desired characteristics of transmitting high levels of photosynthetically active radiation and of being stable under ambient solar UV radiation. The study was focused on evaluating films that either blocked or transmitted UV wavelengths below 380 nm to determine comparative growth, yield and market quality and to provide a tool for integrated pest management. Based on this survey, two contrasting covering materials of similar thickness (0.152 mm) and durability (4-year polyethylene), one a UV-blocking film and the other a UV-transmitting film, were selected and used to cover two high tunnels at Beltsville, MD. Spectroradiometric measurements were made to determine comparative spectral irradiance in these two high tunnels covered with these materials and under ambient solar UV radiation. Comparative measurements were also made of selected glass and plastic materials that have been used in UV exclusion studies.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary