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.
GeoSkin® 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.
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.
No doubt you won’t find this the most exciting post ever at my site. Or any other. But, hydromulch is one of those topics fascinating to anyone ever involved with large-scale construction projects. I’m retired, now – but, this stuff still trips my trigger.
If there’s anything the Lubbock area can research, of course, it’s cotton. They have too damned much of it, now – virtually all produced to the detriment to the overall ecology and environment. Still, it’s nice to see some of the leftover crap – I presume they’re mostly dealing with what is called cotton burr – take another step forward for complete use of agricultural byproducts.
We use cotton burr mulch BTW around just about every garden plant and tree on our property. Good stuff.