Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March 2014 BMP Q&A

By: Todd Thomas, Water Resources Forester, Texas A&M Forest Service

Q: Recently I was considering various revegetation options so I decided to consult the trusty old blue book.  On page 68, in the chart that has different types of grasses and planting rates, etc., I noticed under plating rate that most everything is listed as lbs/acre.  However, there were some that instead of “lbs”, the unit was “bu”.  What does “bu” stand for? 

A: First and foremost, I commend you on exploring other revegetation options and taking advantage of our seeding chart.  To answer your question, “bu” stands for “bushels”.  Species listed in bushels per acre are to be sprigged instead of seeded.  Species that require sprigging are generally hybrids such as Coastal Bermuda grass.  Since they are hybrids, they do not reproduce from seeds, but from roots or runners. 

Bermuda Grass Sprig

Now you are probably asking yourself, “How much exactly is a bushel?”  Do not worry, you are not alone, this is not a common unit of measurement these days to say the least.  A bushel is defined as a volume measurement that contains 32 quarts, 8 gallons, or 1.25 cubic feet.  Length times width times depth in feet divided by 1.25 or multiplied times 0.8 will give the number of measured bushels a truck or trailer can hold.

Species of Bermudagrass are excellent options for erosion control.  These species are perennials, so under the right circumstances, they will return year in and year out, making them ideal for areas that will not be placed into timber production.  Bermuda also has an extensive root structure that does a superb job of holding the soil in place.  The fine blades of Bermudagrass above the soil surface were almost designed to intercept overland flow. 

I hope I was able to clear up some of the confusion out there concerning our revegetation chart.  If anyone out there has any BMP related questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office in Lufkin.  The phone number is 936-639-8180, you can also send them to me via email, my email address is tthomas@tfs.tamu.edu

*This article was published in the March 2014 edition of the Texas Logger

Monday, March 3, 2014

Texas Riparian & Stream Ecosystem Workshop - San Bernard River Basin

March 18, 2014 - Tuesday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

City of Wharton Civic Center
1407 N Richmond Rd.,
Wharton, TX 77488  (map)
This workshop will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones and the benefits and direct economic impacts from healthy riparian zones. The riparian education programs will cover an introduction to riparian principles, watershed processes, basic hydrology, erosion/deposition principles, and riparian vegetation, as well as potential causes of degradation and possible resulting impairment(s), and available local resources including technical assistance and tools that can be employed to prevent and/or resolve degradation. The Texas A&M Forest Service's Water Resources Department will be presenting on Protecting Water Resources while Conducting Management Operations.
This is a one day indoor class with an outdoor field tour that same afternoon.
At the conclusion of the training, participants will receive a certificate of completion.
Continuing Education Units Available:
  • Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicators License – 3 CEUs
  • Texas Water Resources Institute  – 1 CEU
  • Texas Nutrient Management Planning Specialists – 6 hours
  • Texas Forestry Association – 6 hours
  • Society of American Foresters – 4. 5 hours
  • Texas Board of Architectural Examiners “Acceptable for HSW credit”
  • The program may also be used for CEUs for Professional Engineers.
RSVP is required by March 13, 2014. Online RSVP and Agenda: naturalresourcestraining.tamu.edu/schedule
A catered lunch will be provided for $10 cash at the door. Please feel free to bring your own lunch as we will have a lunchtime presentation before heading to the river site. Please select if you would like the catered lunch or if you will bring your own on your RSVP. Thank you. 
For more information or questions please contact Nikki Dictson at 979-458-5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu.