Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2004
Publication Date: 1/30/2004
Citation: Holt, G.A., Buser, M.D., Pelletier, M.G., Harmel, R.D., Potter, K.N., Lee, E. 2004. The COBY process: erosion control study results. In: Proceedings of Beltwide Cotton Conference, January 7-10, 2004, San Antonio, TX. 2004 CD-ROM. p. 994-1000.
Interpretive Summary: Finding a use for cotton gin byproducts that can be implemented across the cottonbelt has been problematic. One application that shows promise for utilizing processed gin byproducts is the Green Industry (landscape and horticultural markets). In this study, cotton gin byproducts that had been processed using USDA's patented COBY process were evaluated for their effectiveness at controlling soil erosion and promoting grass seed germination. Tests were conducted at the USDA-ARS Cotton Production and Processing Research Unit in Lubbock, TX. The study consisted of evaluating seven different mulches (3-COBY products, paper hydro-mulch, wood hydro-mulch, cottonseed hulls, and wheat straw) at two application rates (1000 and 2000 lb/acre). Each treatment was replicated three times. The results indicate that both the cottonseed and COBY mulches perform equal to, or better than, the conventional wood and paper hydro-mulches. However, the coverage factor obtained with the wood and paper mulches was higher than either the cottonseed hull or COBY products, thus indicating additional work is needed in the area of coverage for the cotton-based material. Overall, the cottonseed hulls and COBY mulches demonstrated great promise for erosion control applications.
Technical Abstract: Soil erosion from steep slopes, bare soil, or construction sites is a problem that can create gully formations that adversely affect various bodies of water (lakes and streams), fish and wildlife in those bodies of water, and/or grass seed establishment. Mulches have been one means of mitigating the effects of erosion. The most common mulches for controlling erosion from steep slopes are those that are applied with a hydro-mulcher called hydro-mulches. Some of the most commonly used hydro-mulches are made of wood and paper. In this study, conventional wood and paper hydro-mulches were compared to cottonseed hulls and three types of processed cotton gin byproducts. The mulches were applied at two rates, 1000 and 2000 lb/acre. Results indicate both the cottonseed hull and cotton gin byproduct mulches perform equal to, or better than, the conventional wood and paper mulches. However, the coverage factor associated with most of the wood and paper mulches was higher than cottonseed hulls and all but one cotton gin byproduct mulch. Overall, the cottonseed hulls and cotton gin byproduct mulches showed great promise in erosion control applications.