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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Impact of Grazing Management on Soil Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Sulfur Distribution


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 23 No. 5, p. 1006-1013
    Received: Aug 24, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s): sollenberger@animal.ufl.edu
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  1. B. W. Mathews,
  2. L. E. Sollenberger *,
  3. V. D. Nair and
  4. C. R. Staples
  1. C ollege of Agriculture, Univ. of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720-4091;
    A gronomy Dep., Bldg. 477, P.O. Box 110900, Univ. of Florida, Gainesvile, FL 32611-0900;
    S oil and Water Sci. Dept., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611;
    D airy Sci. Dep., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.



Little information is available directly comparing soil nutrient distribution under different defoliation managements. During 1990 (116 d) and 1991 (141 d), ‘Callie’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon var. aridus Harlan et de Wet) pastures grazed by Holstein heifers (Bos taurus) were used to determine the effects of two rotational stocking methods and continuous stocking on lateral and vertical distribution of extractable N, P, K, and S. A hay management also was included to compare soil responses under grazing and clipping. Nutrient distribution and concentration in the Ap1 horizon (0- to 15-cm soil depth) did not differ among grazing methods, but N, P, and K accumulated in the third of the pastures closest to shade, water sources, and supplement feeders (lounging areas where cattle tend to congregate or rest). Similar observations were made with K in the Ap2 horizon (15- to 30-cm soil depth). Nutrient concentrations were lower or tended to be lower in the Ap1 horizon of the hay management than in grazed pastures because of nutrient removal in harvested herbage. Across defoliation managements, greater extractable N, P, and K concentrations were observed in the Ap1 horizon in 1991 than in 1990. For N and K, this was attributed to fertilizer inputs in all managements and partially to supplemental feed inputs in grazed pastures. Increases in extractable P appeared to be associated primarily with flooding of the experimental site in late 1991. This study suggests that grazing method of well-managed pastures may have little effect on short-term (2 yr) soil nutrient distribution, especially when grazing occurs during months when temperatures are high.

Florida Agric. Exp. Stn. Journal Ser. no. R-03368.

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