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

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