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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 4, p. 1589-1598
    Received: Aug 9, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): millerjj@agr.gc.ca
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Physical and Chemical Properties of Feedlot Pen Surfaces Located on Moderately Coarse– and Moderately Fine–Textured Soils in Southern Alberta

  1. Jim J. Miller *a,
  2. Tony Curtisa,
  3. Francis J. Larneya,
  4. Tim A. McAllistera and
  5. Barry M. Olsonb
  1. a Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, P.O. Box 3000, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 4B1
    b Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 4V6; LRC Contribution No. 387-03036


Southern Alberta has the highest density of feedlot cattle in Canada, and there is a concern that leaching of water and contaminants may be greater for feedlots located on coarser-textured than finer-textured soils. Our objective was to determine if infiltration and leaching were greater for a 4-yr-old feedlot located on a moderately coarse–textured (MC) soil compared with two feedlots located on moderately fine–textured (MF) soils (5- and 52-yr-old pens). Various soil physical properties of feedlot pen surfaces were measured, including field-saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs) and near-saturated hydraulic conductivity at −0.9 and −3.9 cm water potential. Selected chemical properties of feedlot soil layers were measured, as well as the chloride content of the soil profile (0–100 cm). Mean Kfs, K(−0.9), and K(−3.9) values were not significantly (P > 0.10) greater at the MC site than the two MF sites, indicating no evidence of greater infiltration on coarser-textured soils. In addition, mean Kfs, K(−0.9), and K(−3.9) values of soils within feedlot pens at all three sites were significantly (P ≤ 0.10) reduced by 46 to 78% compared with soil outside the pens. Depth of chloride accumulation was greatest at the 52-yr-old feedlot on MF soil (60–70 cm), followed by 4-yr-old feedlot on MC soil (40–50 cm) and 5-yr-old feedlot on MF soil (30–40 cm). Visual inspection determined that the black interface layer formed within 2 mo of cattle stocking at all three sites.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America