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.

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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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