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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Restoring Degraded Cropland with Grazing Systems in the Southern Piedmont Usa: a Five-Year Compendium of Results

item Stuedemann, John
item Franzluebbers, Alan
item Steiner, Jean
item Seman, Dwight
item Bruce, R - USDA-ARS RETIRED
item Wilkinson, S - USDA-ARS RETIRED

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 1999
Publication Date: November 1, 1999

Technical Abstract: This study was conducted to determine if these lands can be restored by systems using Coastal bermudagrass that were grazed (mid-May to mid- October) at either heavy or light grazing pressure, harvested as hay or left unharvested. Crimson clover plus chemical fertilizer, poultry litter, or chemical fertilizer supplied N. Variables quantified included animal performance and production, internal parasites, dung beetles, compaction, P-loading, soil water, infiltration, soil organic carbon (SOC), C mineralization, microbial biomass, N mineralization, and particulate organic C and N. Non-grazed cropland would be expected to be free of internal parasites, thus a second objective was to determine if anthelmintic treatment of cattle prior to stocking could maintain parasite- free status. Soil organic carbon increased at a rate of 1.65 Mg/ha/yr with grazing, but at a rate of 0.35 Mg/ha/yr (0-6 cm) when hayed or unharvested, ,with the greatest difference at 0-2 cm depth. Mean nematode eggs/g of feces at the end of year 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of grazing were 3.6, 0.4, 3.0, 2.1, and 1.9, respectively. Thus, grazing enhanced the accumulation of SOC compared to hayed or unharvested treatments with all grazed paddocks remaining essentially free of parasites.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015
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