Title: Hydromulch Blends Using Agricultural Byproducts: Performance Implications of Cotton Quantity Authors
Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 10, 2013
Publication Date: January 5, 2014
Citation: Scholl, B., Holt, G.A., Thornton, C., Duke, S.E. 2014. Hydromulch Blends Using Agricultural Byproducts: Performance Implications of Cotton Quantity. Trade Journal Publication. 17:302-308. Interpretive Summary: In an effort to refine promising hydromulch recipes from a previous study, sorghum stover and cotton gin trash were used to make sixteen different recipes of hydromulch. Each recipe included chemical tackifiers, known as PAM, and cotton linters obtained from an oil mill (2nd cut linters). Each recipe was sprayed on a 26.5 degree slope at a rate of 2000 lb/acre and then subjected to a simulated rain of 5.7 in/hr. Testing of all sixteen recipes were tested on both clay- and sandy-loam soil types. Results indicated two recipes produced lower Total Runoff (includes soil and hydromulch) and soil runoff than the all the others for both soil types. Of the two best performing recipes, one recipes was the best overall. The best recipe included 53% sorghum stover, 43% cotton burs, and 6.5% PAM/cotton fibers blend. The perecent PAM, for all recipes, was 4% or less. Results need to be validated in field studies.
Technical Abstract: Research has shown that hydromulch containing specific blends of cotton, mixed with other agricultural byproducts, is effective in providing protection from rainfall induced erosion of soil surfaces prior to establishment of vegetation and stimulating germination. To evaluate the effect of ingredient proportions on hydromulch blends incorporating low value biomass byproducts, a cooperative research program was conducted between the United States Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University. Following construction of a rainfall test facility, sixteen hydromulch blends (recipes) containing various quantities of identical components were tested under controlled rainfall intensities. Variations in biomass particle size, percent primary ingredient, percent polyacrylamide (PAM) and percentage of other identical ingredients were systematically varied and tested as a hydromulch. Test plots consisted of sandy-loam and clay-loam soils. The soil and organic content of runoff was collected and recipes evaluated for their effectiveness in providing protection against rainfall induced soil erosion. Standard deviations and mean comparisons of total loss (soil and organic matter) and proportional soil loss were used to determine the best hydromulch recipe for both soil types. Two hydromulch recipes displayed promising results with lower Total Loss and less variability than the other recipes evaluated.