Agricultural straw is widely used as an erosion mitigation measure on disturbed soils. It has several drawbacks, however, which include increasing intrinsic value, increasing transportation costs, weed source, pesticide residues, and dust. An alternative is wood strands manufactured from small diameter timber or low-value veneer. A study to determine the efficacy of wood strands as an alternative to straw showed that straw and two types of wood strands were equally effective in reducing erosion by over 98%. The authors believe that there are opportunities to exceed the erosion control performance of agricultural straw through the disciplined design of a wood analog. Work is continuing to improve the wood strand properties for further field testing.
About the Publication
Foltz, R.B. and J.H. Dooley. 2003. Comparison of erosion reduction between wood strands and agricultural straw. Transactions of the ASAE 26(5):1389-1396. St. Joseph, MI: American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
Read the full article in PDF format: