User Instructions

Product Safety Instructions and Warnings

Imaflex Agricultural Film Products are designed to provide optimal microclimates for the growth of crops and optionally fumigant retention and crop protection when applied and used properly.

WARNINGThese GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS are not a substitute for reading and understanding the specific use instructions, labels and/or technical bulletins provided on Imaflex’s website for download for each film product class. 


Choosing the right film and quantity needed

Agricultural films encompass mulch, solarization, fumigation barrier and crop protection films made either from polyethylene (PE) or biodegradable materials.  They are either slick, with a smooth surface, or embossed with a diamond-shaped pattern on the surface.

The color of agricultural films affects light transmission and reflection, hence soil temperature and weed infestation. Commercially used films are either uncolored (clear), black, white-on-black and “silver”, which is not actually silver colored but a black or white film with a thin metallic coating (metalized) on one side.

Plastic mulches for growing vegetables range in thickness (gauge) from 0.6 to 2.0 mils. For the use in orchards, groves and greenhouses they range from 3.0 to 6.0 mils. Plastic mulch is packaged in 2,400 to 8,000 foot long rolls (depending on the film thickness) and are 3 to 8 feet wide.

Traditionally, farmers refer to linear feet or number of rolls when referring to the amount of mulch needed per acre. In reality, depending on the film width and the row spacing, distance between mulch covered rows, amounts vary from 0.75 to 1 acre of film per acre of land. Cost per acre of film depends on its weight, which mostly depends on its thickness.

Note: Imaflex Agricultural film products are produced to accepted standard industry yields based on 30,000 in2 (208 ft2) per pound PE at 1 mil, respectively 20,000 in2 (130 ft2) per pound for denser compostable plastic (CP) at 1 mil used. All gauge calculations are based on these yields with a standard industry tolerance of +/- 5%. All representations are displayed as nominal values and are for reference only.

As a rule of thumb, frames are calculated using two rolls at 4,000 feet per acre, whose weight can be calculated with the following formula:   PE Roll Weight = (width x length x gauge x 12)/30,000 and CP Roll Weight = (width x length x gauge x 12)/20,000.

WARNING: Select film thickness according to length of growing cycle and for one growing season only.

Transportation and Storage

Product rolls not being used should always be stored in the original packaging, away from moisture, direct light and heat sources and stored in a cold, dry place on a smooth surface.

To avoid physical damage that may impact the laying and performance in the field, rolls should be kept in a horizontal position to avoid crushing and deformations caused by stacking. Rolls must be transported with care. Accidental tears or deformations, due to incorrect storage or transportation may reduce the film’s performance in the field.

WARNING: For best performance, do not install any damaged parts of film.

Field Preparation and Soil Disinfection

For optimum results the soil must be loose and friable prior to laying of the mulch. Stones, clods, undecomposed plant residues, and other objects that can puncture the mulch should be removed.

Fumigants can be injected below the soil surface through either tractor-mounted shanks or though drip tape to control weeds and pests in the soil. Special fumigation barrier films are required to hold fumigants in the soil at the doses needed for control and to reduce the loss of fumigant  emission to the atmosphere. Fumigation barrier films may reduce the size of a required buffer zone as determined by Federal and State Environmental Agencies.  

WARNING: Before using any agricultural film in combination with fumigants consult the webpage of the U.S. EPA and/or your State Environmental Agency to find out whether a particular Imaflex film is qualified for use with fumigants at all and the amount of buffer zone reduction available for a particular soil fumigant.

Do not use any Can-Grow, Can-Shine, Can-Eco mulch or Shine N’ Ripe XL orchard film in combination with soil fumigants!


All Imaflex films can be laid using conventional plastic mulch laying equipment; however tension needs to be adjusted properly to reduce the likelihood of tearing.

The film must be laid in continuous and tight contact with the soil and its edges secured with a generous amount of soil to avoid “whipping” in the wind. Whipping causes tearing of the film and abrasion on the stems of seedlings transplanted, leading to plant death.

Film should be laid without pockets or depressions, allowing water to run‐off quickly. Water collected in depressions will reduce the lifespan of the film.

WARNING:  Do not install film on beds containing objects that could puncture the film or within a day immediately after bed top fertilization! Reduce likelihood of unintended tearing by avoiding excessive tension during installation.

Planting Holes

Use sharp tools to make small seedling holes with well-maintained, clean edges to maximize ground coverage and reduce possible breakage of the film.

WARNING: Dull tools increase the likelihood of rupturing film punch holes and reduce film life. Seedlings should be transplanted immediately after perforation.

Use and Lifespan:

The film integrity depends on the interaction of a range of physical and environmental factors present in the field. This includes, but is not limited to, installation quality, surrounding acidic and alkaline materials, film thickness, soil moisture, heat, light, agrochemicals used and in the case of compostable films, microbial activity.

Experience shows that non-compostable films like Can-Grow and Can-Block keep their integrity for the length of one growing cycle of the crop to be transplanted, which is generally up to 9 months under regular conditions and gauges.

Agrochemicals are any chemical used in agriculture, including fertilizers, liming and acidifying agents for adjusting soil pH, soil conditioners, pesticides, plant growth accelerators and adjuvants used in pesticide formulations themselves or added to tank mixture spray solutions.

Crops grown on film can be treated with approved pest control, soil fumigants and nutritional products when used in accordance with those products’ labels; however, the type and quantity of those agrochemicals used can negatively affect performance and lifespan of the film.

WARNING: Do not use strong acid or alkaline formulations of agrochemicals or supplemental products containing certain transition metals, such as iron, nickel, cobalt and manganese, because they will reduce the film performance and lifespan dramatically.

Do not use any Imaflex agricultural films for more than one crop growing season, except if it is specifically indicated in the product description.

After Harvest:

At the end of the crop cycle residual non-biodegradable films can be safely recycled or disposed in compliance with federal, state and county regulations.

Residual biodegradable films can be safely composted in a municipal/commercial compost facility or cultivated into the soil together with the crop residues after removal of any other non-biodegradable materials used like plastic drip tape.

WARNING: Do not use any biodegradable mulch film in organic crop production before verifying compliance with USDA organic regulation (79 FR 58655) for the use of biodegradable biobased mulch films in organic crop production.