Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2012
Publication Date: 12/4/2012
Citation: Scholl, B.N., Holt, G.A., Thornton, C.I. 2012. Screening study of select cotton-based hydromulch blends produced using the cross-linked biofiber process. Journal of Cotton Science. 16(4):249-254. Interpretive Summary: This was the initial study evaluating various recipe blends of processed agricultural residues such as wheat straw and haygrazer blended with processed cotton gin byproducts (i.e., sticks and burs) in the manufacture of a hydromulch. Eleven hydromulch blends were produced and applied to a clay loam soil in a 2' x 10' tray. Three trays at a time were subjected to 6-in/hr rain with the trays positined on a 2:1 slope. All mulches were compared to a commercially available hydromulch used on slopes of 3:1 or greater. Results indicate three blends that were the same as the control. One of the blends, Cotton Stalks, was removed from consideration due to the large variation in performance. The two blends that remained will be refined and evaluated in greater detail in the follow-up study.
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 potential of utilizing the Cross-Linked Biofiber Process to incorporate low value biomass byproducts into an effective hydro-mulch blend, a cooperative research program was conducted between the United States Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University. Following construction of a rainfall test facility, a series of hydromulch blends containing various biomass components was tested under controlled rainfall intensities. Biomass components included material derived from cotton, wheat, sudan hybrid (Haygrazer), and other agricultural residues. In addition, a popular commercially available hydromulch used on slopes of 3:1 or greater was used as a control. Analysis of the soil and organic content of runoff collected was conducted and blend constituents evaluated for their effectiveness in providing protection against rainfall induced soil erosion. Dunnett’s multiple range and Kruskal-Wallis statistical tests were used to evaluate results and eliminate treatments not significantly different from the control. Of eleven treatments evaluated, three were not significantly different from the control in soil runoff, organic runoff, and total runoff. Two treatments were selected for further research and development.