Erosion Control March/April 2017 : Page 21

house for analyzing informa-tion and maximizing metabolic efficiencies, creating higher levels of humic acid, and stabilizing pH—a feature Wisbey is particu-larly impressed with. She says optimum pH for her projects is essential because if soils are too acidic, “it locks up nutrients and plants can’t get to them. When you keep adding acids or alkalines to balance your soil, these are good for maybe one year, but then they wash away. What you need to do is correct the soil permanently, and these products do that. In our 9-acre test development site we are getting to a balance of pH, and once we’re there the plants will have ready access to every nutrient they need,” says Wisbey. Finally, she says, if we grow the way nature intended, “you don’t have to worry about aeration, adding chemicals to correct everything each year. When people come to me and are educated to these benefits and finally get the big picture and understand the differences between chemical and organic soil management, I get a 95% conversion rate.” She adds that the upfront expense may seem high, but the investment pays back with huge production increases, stabil-ity, and lower maintenance. “Plus, you have reassurance that the environment—plants, wildlife, air, and water—is well protected in the bargain. And another great benefit, we don’t know why, but for some reason it repels voles!” Reclaiming Soils Tom Bowman, division president of Rocky Mountain Bio products, a division of Bowman Construction Supply, says, “We’re also known as We Fix Dirt, because it was easier to get the message across.” Bowman says adding micro-and macronutrients during revegetation and reclamation projects is a great insurance policy investment for those projects. “This really is a case of ‘do it right the first time,’” he says. Bowman’s company is the North American supplier of Austrian-manufactured Biosol. He describes one amendment’s origin as a penicillin byproduct. “After you grow pencillin, what’s left is mycelium, and this fungus is a high-quality, bound nitrogen source that has been fermented, so it is very stable. This is the vegetative source for mycorrhizae in our MycoApply to thrive in. “While it’s primarily used for agriculture in Europe, here we see it is used for reclamation and for soils that are very poor, highly disturbed, or on difficult sites. But because of its absolutely benign affect on the environment, some places like the Lake Tahoe water basin, for example, rarely specify anything else.” And after 180 days, “We’re still releasing nutrients as the plant needs them,” he says. “Because of the beneficial fungal biomass of this product, there are a lot of great qualities such as holding onto water and disease suppression, with the results of healthier and better seed germination, and the ben-efit of erosion control. There are organics, and then there’s this product—they are not the same as composts or animal byproducts. The fermentation and specific organic binding of the high-quality nutrients are incredible, and the results in just the first year at Piney Creek, a very alluvial and threat-ened stream, are clear evidence that it works.” The first stage of work for Piney Creek stream is well on its way. Borchardt affirms that the success has residents, project sponsors, SEMSWA, UDFCD, and suppliers thrilled at the regrowth and wetland restoration achieved so far. All stakeholders anticipate a high level of preservation and future protection for the stream as they continue onto the next project segments. Adding micro-and macronutrients during revegetation and reclamation projects is a great insurance policy. MARCH/APRIL 2017 EROSION CONTROL 21

Bowman Construction/Biosol

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