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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Plant Pathology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #180749


item Warnick, J. P.
item Chase, C. A.
item Rosskopf, Erin
item Simonne, E. H.
item Scholberg, J. M.

Submitted to: Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/24/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Warnick, J., Chase, C., Rosskopf, E.N., Simonne, E., Scholberg, J. 2006. Weed suppression with hydramulch, a biodegradable liquid paper mulch. Renewable Agriculture and Food System. 21:216-223.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Hydramulch, a slurry derived from cotton waste and newspaper, with gypsum as a filler (for improving texture) and bound by a proprietary adhesive, was tested as a biodegradable alternative to polyethylene mulch. The goal of the reported research was to determine if hydramulch could effectively suppress weeds. The test was conducted during the spring of 2003 at two on-farm locations (one conventional production and the other organic located in southeastern and north central Florida, respectively) with differing weed populations, soil types, and climatic conditions. The experiments compared three hydramulch treatments with polyethylene mulch and a bare control. The effect of the mulches on soil temperature, soil moisture, weed densities, and weed biomass was assessed. Purple nutsedge was not controlled by the slurry. Hydramulch suppressed broadleaf weeds and grasses, which was influenced by the thickness of the mulch application. Soil temperature under hydramulch was 1' 2' C lower than under polyethylene, with 1- 4% less soil moisture during periods without measurable rainfall.