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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Five Year-Round Forage Systems in a Dairy Effluent Sprayfield


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 175-183
    Received: Jan 19, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): krw@ifas.ufl.edu
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  1. Kenneth R. Woodard *a,
  2. Lynn E. Sollenbergera,
  3. Lewin A. Sweata,
  4. Donald A. Graetzb,
  5. Stuart J. Rympha and
  6. Yongsung Jooc
  1. a Agronomy Dep., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville
    b Soil and Water Sci. Dep., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville
    c College of Medicine, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville


In northern Florida, forages are grown in dairy effluent sprayfields to recover excess P. Our purpose was to evaluate five year-round forage systems for their capacity to remove P from a dairy sprayfield. The soil is a Kershaw sand (thermic, uncoated Typic Quartzipsamment). Systems included bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.)-rye (Secale cereale L.) (BR), perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.)-rye (PR), corn (Zea mays L.)-forage sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]-rye (CSR), corn-bermudagrass-rye (CBR), and corn-perennial peanut-rye (CPR). Forages were grown for five 12-mo cycles. Effluent P rates were 80, 120, and 165 kg ha−1 cycle−1 The 5-cycle P removal was 67 kg ha−1 cycle−1 for BR, 54 kg ha−1 for CBR, 52 kg for CSR, 45 kg for PR, and 43 for CPR. Removal of P by winter rye was low. There were differences in system rankings among cycles primarily due to changes in the performance of perennial forages. In the first two cycles, BR had the greatest P removal (91 kg ha−1 cycle−1) due to high bermudagrass yield and P concentration. In the first cycle, P removal was lowest for PR (36 kg ha−1) because perennial peanut was slow to establish. In later cycles, P removal for BR declined because bermudagrass yield and P concentration declined. It increased for PR because peanut yield increased. The yield of corn in CBR, CPR, and CSR was consistently high but P concentration was modest (avg. 2.2 g kg−1). Sorghum produced moderate but stable yield and had low P levels (avg. 1.8 g kg−1). Effluent rate marginally affected the performance of most grasses. For P recovery in dairy sprayfields in northern Florida, the best warm-season forage would likely be a high yielding, persistent bermudagrass.

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