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Cotton Bests Other Spray-On Erosion Control Mulches

Date:
May 31, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Agricultural engineers have developed the erosion control industry's first cotton hydromulch "spray-on blanket." Hydromulch is the bright-green mulch used in spray-on slurries that cover bare lands at construction sites and roadside projects, to prevent erosion until vegetation can be established. In the past, hydromulches were made mostly from wood and paper byproducts.

Summit Seed, Inc., employee Dan Pralle sprays a test plot with one of the cotton-based hydromulches developed during the research study on value-added processing of cotton gin byproducts.
Credit: Photo by Greg Holt

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) agricultural engineer Greg Holt helped develop the erosion control industry's first cotton hydromulch "spray-on blanket." Holt is at the ARS Cotton Production and Processing Research Unit in Lubbock, Texas.

Hydromulch is the bright-green mulch used in spray-on slurries that cover bare lands at construction sites and roadside projects, to prevent erosion until vegetation can be established. In the past, hydromulches were made mostly from wood and paper byproducts.

GeoSkinฎ Cotton Hydromulch is made from cotton gin byproducts. It is a combination hydromulch/spray-on erosion-control blanket that performs better than conventional roll-on blankets and requires significantly less labor. Holt and colleagues tested the prototype against commercial erosion control blankets made of straw, wood and coconut.

The total runoff from these four mulches, including soil and mulch ingredients, was: cotton, 222 pounds per acre; straw, 7,832 pounds per acre; wood, 7,474 pounds per acre; and coconut, 3,719 pounds per acre.

The cotton hydromulch was produced using technology developed from cooperative research efforts between ARS; Cotton Incorporated of Cary, N.C.; Summit Seed, Inc., of Manteno, Ill.; and Mulch & Seed Innovations, LLC, of Centre, Ala. ARS has applied for a patent on the process.

The technology has served as a foundation for developing a broader line of cotton hydromulches for erosion control, including a premium hydromulch for steep slopes, and more recently, a midgrade product for flat- to mid-slope terrain.

One of Holt's studies showed that cotton-based hydromulches established a good stand of grass, compared to other hydromulches and a straw blanket which didn't do as well.

Cotton Incorporated is the research and marketing organization representing upland cotton. The organization partially funded some of Holt's studies, which also involved a farm consultant, ARS colleague Ken Potter in Temple, Texas, and a colleague at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Cotton Bests Other Spray-On Erosion Control Mulches." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090522174701.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, May 31). Cotton Bests Other Spray-On Erosion Control Mulches. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090522174701.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Cotton Bests Other Spray-On Erosion Control Mulches." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090522174701.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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