Compostable hop rope
Industry and application area
Compostable rope as an alternative for steel wires that are currently used for growing hop.
Every year about 100 million hop plants are planted in Europe alone, mainly for beer production. Each of these hop plants is attached to a long wire on which the plant grows up to around 7 meters. When harvested the plant is torn down including the wire. The whole construction is then shredded. The shredded plant, including the wire, is then typically distributed directly on the fields. The wire oxidizes away after some time but leaves unwanted pollution on the fields.
Challenge to meet the standard
In a first step, Senbis is looking into developing a compostable rope as an alternative for this wire. This would allow the farmer to get a cheap waste stream option for the plant at the end of its live. The challenge is to meet the high performance requirements as a single hop plant can weigh over 20 kg and has to be carried throughout the year on the Senbis rope also during rough weather conditions.
This product is still under development. A first trial rope has been developed during one season and tested by a major supplier of farming equipment. Larger field tests are planned.