Costs and Ecological Benefits of Organic Amendments Added to Erosion Control Structures

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2021: $74,932.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2024
Host Institution Award ID: G322-21-W8614
Grant Recipient: Quivira Coalition
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
Principal Investigator:
Eva Stricker
Quivira Coalition
This cost analysis approximates the labor, material, equipment and transportation costs associated with applying organic amendments to erosion control structures at five ranches located throughout New Mexico: two in Rio Arriba County, one in Mora County, one in Santa Fe county, and one in Eddy County. At each ranch, 18 erosion control structures (“rock run-downs”) were built at small headcuts. Mulch and compost were each applied to six structures at each ranch and half of the structures at each ranch were seeded with native grass seed in a full factorial design. The results of this analysis found that each structure alone cost ~$21 ($7-$28 range, depending on if rocks were on site and if heavy equipment was used). Mulch added upslope erosion control structures added $16 of cost, and compost upslope added $19 per plot. Seeding upslope cost approximately $7 per plot. There was little effect of adding organic amendments or seeding (biological management activities) to erosion control structures (physical management activities) within one year, so producers may not need to invest the additional cost because the rock structures alone were highly effective.
Fact Sheet
Chase Hetler, Quivira Coalition
Megan O'Connell, Quivira Coalition
Eva Stricker, Quivira Coalition
Target audience:
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.