Sustainable Crop Management

Moso plantlets in nursery

Resource Fiber is growing rapidly renewable bamboo in commercial farming operations in and surrounding the Alabama Black Belt region creating sustainable regional economic development, industry innovation and associated new employment opportunities. 

Responsible planting

Resource Fiber is committed to planting responsibly while maximizing its future growth potential for generations to come. Man-made barriers assist in keeping the bamboo in a controlled environment.  Rhizome pruning is important twice each year to keep rhizomes from jumping barriers, Selective and/or rotational harvesting methods preserve biodiversity and natural habitat (vs. clear cutting and traditional crop harvest methods). Ecologically damaging fertilizers and pesticides are not required to achieve high productivity and the rhizome root structure provides significant soil stabilization and erosion control.

Example of man-made barrier

Expansive, not invasive

Video: How Bamboo Grows courtesy of Lewis Bamboo

For any plant species to be truly invasive to an ecosystem, it must be able to spread easily over great distances through seed dispersal by the elements or wildlife. Viable spreading of bamboo on a small localized scale only occurs from the root system, not through seed dispersal.  Control the root system and you control bamboo (as pictured in photo). Other facts to consider are:

  • Running bamboo species exhibit high variability in behavior.  In general, the smaller species tend to spread more rapidly and become more expansive – but are not invasive by definition due to its reproductive and growth characteristics.  Bamboo only expands within or in close proximity to the site in which it was originally introduced and growing.  
  • Running bamboo species have shallow root structures and obtain most of their nutrients and water from the air, in contrast to running tree species such as aspen, which spread to access nutrients and water from the soil.  These smaller, shorter bamboo species tend to spread to maximize canopy and maintain stand vigor and health.
  • Invasive plants grow beyond their original site or zone of introduction by their growth behaviors and their production of viable seed. Expansive plants may exhibit rapid growth characteristics (and hence require management routines), but will not readily replicate by seed-spread.
  • Invasive species have a co-evolutionary relationship with birds. For example, kudzu, an invasive plant / vine evident in parts of the southeastern United States, rapidly expands its range by growing over, under and eventually overwhelming the landscape. Kudzu produces abundant seeds along the way, and birds subsequently consume them.  They eventually redeposit these seeds elsewhere, replicating and expanding the adverse invasive ecological effects.  Bamboo does not exhibit these characteristic behaviors.  
  • Unlike other commonly identified invasive species, bamboo does not produce seed annually, but rather along 60 to 100 year “flowering” intervals depending on specie. When seed is produced during a flowering event, they are not viable to support easy plant replication even if birds consume and redeposit them elsewhere.
  • Other introduced and pervasive species in the southeastern United States, such as the Chinese privet, the Bradford pear, Japanese honeysuckle, or camellias have extended their numbers and range to unintended numbers and locations. Their spread has been hastened by birds taking their fruits and seeds (often 100-percent viable for reproduction) and depositing them in woodlands and landscapes, creating a pernicious, invasive nuisance.  Again, bamboos cannot spread in this way.  

 

For more information, please contact us.

Committed to the Triple Bottom Line

The company is built on the tenets of the Triple Bottom Line whose foundation is based on the well-being of the people and communities where the company conducts its business (people), sound and sustainable environmental practices (planet), and sterling financial performance (profit).