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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Vadose Zone Processes and Chemical Transport

Physical and Chemical Properties of Feedlot Pen Surfaces Located on Moderately Coarse– and Moderately Fine–Textured Soils in Southern Alberta


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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  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