For its Terra line of deck and fence boards, Wyoming manufacturer Natures Composites uses a combination of recycled high-density polyethylene and wheat straw that it says is stronger and ecologically friendlier than competing wood-plastic composite materials.

TerraDeck, which comes with a 20-year warranty, resists water absorption, shows low amounts of thermal expansion, and will not splinter or crack, says the company.

The product’s “green” appeal is that 94 percent of it is made from recycled milk jugs and wheat straw – an agricultural by-product and a renewable resource.

The 1-inch-by-5 3/8-inch planks come in three lengths – 12 feet, 16 feet, and 20 feet – and in two profiles: slotted to accommodate hidden fasteners, and solid. Available in six colors, the boards have better color retention than conventional composites, according to the company, and do not require painting or staining.

Natures Composites also manufactures a co-extruded plank, the Ultimate series, in three colors.

Natures Composites is a new iteration of Heartland BioComposites, a company that produced composite lumber from 2006 until its doors closed in 2009. After that, its assets were purchased by a group of investors that included Heartland president Heath Van Eaton, and the company was revived last year in its original location in Torrington, Wyo.

Scott Gibson is a writer in East Waterboro, Maine.

Natures Composites, 307/532-9942,