Today, an email linking to this youtube video suggests using hay to adsorb floating oil. I was curious to see if it might work out, supply wise... so here is the math.
US total hay production.... approx 150 million tons, according to the US EPA
Total amount of oil spill, per year
25000 barrels per day using the highest estimate
6 pounds / gallon of oil (my estimate)
1 ton / 2000 pounds
191,625 tons of oil and assorted goo per annum
Assuming a 1:1 relationship weight wise, it could work. It would take far less than 1% of the US hay output.