Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
In the Texas High Plains, 30 counties are responsible for the yearly production of one million short tons of cotton gin trash. Field experiments were conducted in 2008 to evaluate the effectiveness of
Texas cotton stripper trash and industry standards (hydro-mulch and wheat straw) as mulching media for the establishment of bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides). The site consisted of a Brownfield Sandy Clay Loam (loamy, mixed, superactive, thermic Arsenic Aridic Paleustalfs) tilled to a depth of 10 cm and graded prior to seeding. A starter fertilizer (7 N - 7 P2O5 - 7 K2O) at a rate of 48.5 kg N/ha was applied at seeding. ‘Sahara’ common bermudagrass (unhulled) and ‘Topgun’ buffalograss (unhulled) were examined at 97.5 and 195 kg/ha, respectively. Mulch treatments were applied immediately after seeding and consisted of no mulch, unrefined (non-ground) stripper trash at 6515 kg/ha, wheat straw at 4600 kg/ha, or hydro-mulch at 2244 kg/ha. Plots were maintained with a rotary mower at a height of 5.0 cm throughout the length of the study. Percent bermudagrass and buffalograss establishment and % weed cover were visually evaluated monthly using a scale of 0 (no cover) to 100% (complete cover). Data were subjected to analysis of variance and means were separated using Fisher’s Protected LSD at the 0.05 significance level. Bermudagrass establishment was greatest with no mulch (92%) followed by hydro-mulch (84%), wheat straw (70%), and gin trash (59%) 12 weeks after initial treatment (WAIT). Weed pressure was highest in bermudagrass plots mulched with gin trash (33%) and wheat straw (23%). Buffalograss establishment was greatest with hydro-mulch (55%) 12 WAIT. All other treatments exhibited less than 18% buffalograss cover. Weed pressure was highest in buffalograss plots mulched with wheat straw (69%) followed by gin trash (55%), no mulch (33%), and hydro-mulch (19%) 12 WAIT.