Erosion Control Material Developed with USDA SBIR Grant
Washington company's Woodstraw more effective than regular straw
As discussed on the USDA blog, Forest Concepts, located in Auburn, Wash., developed an erosion control material from waste wood veneer with funding from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). After forest fires, large areas are without protective vegetative cover, making them prone to soil erosion when rains come. Forest Concepts' product, called Woodstraw, reduces soil erosion more effectively than regular straw from wheat or other grasses that is light and can be easily blown away by high winds.
Woodstraw consists of pieces of wood 4 to 10 in. in length and one-quarter in. in diameter. As it is much heavier than grass straw, it is much less prone to be moved by high winds. In tests done by Forest Concepts, the material was successfully used on forest areas with steep slopes and can last at least four years. And importantly for areas affected by wildfire, it doesn’t contain seeds from unwanted plants.
NIFA awarded Forest Concepts a grant for $79,824 through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. It was followed up with another SBIR Phase II award from NIFA for $296,000 for research and development, leading to commercialization.
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