Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Managing Cattle Operations To Protect Lakes And Rivers From Pollution

Date:
February 16, 2008
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
Concerns about long-term effects of beef cattle browsing more than 11 million acres of Florida grazinglands led Agricultural Research Service scientists to examine soil fertility changes in bahiagrass-based beef cattle pastures from 1988 to 2002. Analysis of data from that research shows that cattle can be managed in an environmentally safe way, despite the large quantities of waste the animals generate.

Brahman heifers.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

Concerns about long-term effects of beef cattle browsing more than 11 million acres of Florida grazinglands led Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists to examine soil fertility changes in bahiagrass-based beef cattle pastures from 1988 to 2002. Analysis of data from that research shows that cattle can be managed in an environmentally safe way, despite the large quantities of waste the animals generate.

Related Articles


Forage-based livestock systems have been cited as a major cause of deteriorating water quality in Florida and other cattle-producing states. Phosphorus runoff from manure and fertilizers applied to enhance forage production can pollute rivers and lakes. However, very limited data have been available to quantify nutrient losses to adjacent bodies of water from pastures managed for grazing and hay production.

For this long-term monitoring study, the pastures were managed for spring grazing and late- summer haying. Soil scientist Gilbert C. Sigua and colleagues in the ARS Beef Cattle Research Unit in Brooksville, Fla., monitored changes in soil nutrients. The data they generated enabled them to predict soil chemical and physical changes likely under continuous forage-livestock cultivation, and to devise measures to manage them.

Testing was done in three large pasture units with a combined area of about 3,800 acres, of which about 3,200 acres were in permanent pasture. The herd used in the study—about 1,000 cows, bulls and calves—is maintained for nutritional, reproductive and genetic research at Brooksville.

Overall, there was no buildup of soil phosphorus or other crop nutrients, despite the annual application of fertilizers and daily in-field loading of animal waste. Periodic soil analysis showed declining nutrient levels, especially of phosphorus.

Next, Sigua and other collaborators will integrate environmental, plant and animal genetic resources into a sustainable beef cattle-agroecosystem suitable for the subtropical United States. The goal is to optimize forage-based cow-calf operations to improve pasture sustainability and protect water quality.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Managing Cattle Operations To Protect Lakes And Rivers From Pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212194959.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2008, February 16). Managing Cattle Operations To Protect Lakes And Rivers From Pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212194959.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Managing Cattle Operations To Protect Lakes And Rivers From Pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212194959.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins