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Green Acres eyeing growing hydro seeding opportunities
(caption: Zac Nowell of Green Acres Hydroseeding Inc., together with Ron Edwards of HydroStraw LLC & Summit Seed USA, at the 64th Annual National Mine Safety & Environment Conference in Baguio.)
Construction and mining companies in the Philippines are starting to turn to hydro seeding when trying to control soil erosion, and completing their rehabilitation plan – especially when conventional seed planting can’t be done on steep slopes or in other inaccessible areas.
Hydro seeding is an innovative alternative seeding method that involves a combination of the following elements: A mixture of site specific seeds of various types for the site, hydro seeding mulch, fertilizer, lime, bio stimulants, moisture retention polymers, tackifiers and other proprietary additives, which are then mixed with water to produce a ‘slurry’. The quantities and ratios of the mixture are site specific and can be adapted to fit the needs of that area.
‘Mixed to the correct ratios’ in a ‘hydro seeding machine’ – a machine which is basically a large tank with a mechanical agitator with a high pressure pump and hose the ingredients form a uniform slurry. The mulch slurry is then sprayed onto the ground or slope surface at the manufactures recommended rate to establish vegetation and control erosion.
This seeding method comes with rapid vegetation establishment as well as erosion control benefits. Depending on conditions, visible results can be seen within 10 to 15 days from application. Hydro seeding provides ideal conditions for germination, dramatically speeding up the plant growth and the permanent soil control process, and its application can be tailored to any site, where conventional seeding is not a viable option.
The technique, used particularly in hard-to-reach areas, saves time and money, allowing builders or miners to cut out the costly and labor-intensive activity of bringing in and spreading top soils. Hydraulically applied products can be applied at a fraction of the cost of traditional top soil and labor savings are equally great. This mechanical method also reduces the need to plant vegetation by hand.
Green Acres Hydroseeding, Inc.; based in the Philippines, is one such company that offers hydro seeding services to clients here and abroad. The company has recognized the difficulties of hydro seeding in the Philippines and has partnered with HydroStraw LLC and Summit Seed from America to develop a cost-effective ‘one step process, complete solution’ to rehabilitation needs, such as soil stabilization and vegetation establishment. Green Acres’ ‘one step process, complete solution’ will make the hydro seeding process in the Philippines as reliable as it has become in America, and many other countries, by following the same format that has been used there to great success.
Mining rehabilitation and soil erosion control is a serious investment for any company so it must be done right. Green Acres Hydroseeding, Inc. (in partnership with HydroStraw LLC and Summit Seed USA), import their seed mixes and mulch direct from HydroStraw USA. The seed is pre-mixed and is quality tested and certified by local state and federal agencies prior to export. The mulch is specifically designed for mine rehabilitation and needs only one application, opposed to others in the market that require multiple applications..
The company also manufactures in San Pedro, Manila ‘hydro seeding machines’ in 400, 900 and 2,500 gallon (1500, 3400, 9500 Liters) units, using Bowie pumps from USA. Complete service, spare parts and technical training programs are also provided by the company.
What’s more, Green Acres encourage companies to purchase their smaller ‘usable’ machines which are better suited to the Philippines logistically challenging terrain. Green Acres manager Zac Nowell says “It works out to be more economical for companies to buy a machine from us, we provide complete start up training and onsite technical support. Continued support and training is also available, the idea being once set up, companies will simply need to buy the products from us. We do provide the complete application services as well though. When looking at a one time, small area project or hydro seeding not being part of a continued long term plan, this can still be the better option for some.”
The system and products Green Acres Hydroseeding, Inc. have adopted has been used commercially in other countries such as the United States, Canada, Mexico and throughout Europe, many of which follow world-class standards for mining rehabilitation. The company’s products have been used to great success within the TSM (Toward Sustainable Mining) mining sustainability standard, which was recently adopted by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.
Green Acres’ team is prepared to implement this successful solution in the Philippines, with skill sets that range from scientists with PhDs in Plant Breeding and Genetics, to project management and logistics, through to their highly-trained ground technicians. The experienced teams from both HydroStraw LLC and Summit Seed also play a large role in Green Acres Hydroseeding, Inc.. Supplying quality assured and certified products is not all they do, they are involved in many other aspects and are very much considered part of the Green Acres team.
The team are working closely with other rehabilitation companies, particularly coconut erosion control blankets, as working together increases the overall successful rehabilitation of these disturbed sites.
The Green Acres Hydroseeding, Inc. system benefits mining companies in their rehabilitation efforts, as it is cost-effective, efficient and allows large-scale re-vegetation of sites that may have been sterile, bare and unsightly for some time.
Once re-vegetated, the hydro seeded area provides permanent erosion control, clean surface water, stops sedimentation, and provides food and nutrients for local wildlife as well as livestock, potentially providing many opportunities to local communities.
Green Acres Hydroseeding, Inc. is working with mines and local communities, in training and continued support, to help them take control of their own rehabilitation efforts. Setting them up to do the work themselves is one way the firm has found to reduce miners’ costs. Still, the firm continues to support its customers for however long they need assistance in getting to grips with their own rehabilitation works and Green Acres range of products.