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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pasture Management Effects on Soil Quality Attributes in the Northern Great Plains

Authors
item Wienhold, Brian
item Hendrickson, John

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 14, 1999
Publication Date: November 1, 1999
Citation: WIENHOLD, B.J., HENDRICKSON, J.R. PASTURE MANAGEMENT EFFECTS ON SOIL QUALITY ATTRIBUTES IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS. AGRONOMY ABSTRACTS p. 233. 1999.

Interpretive Summary: Pasture management impacts on the soil resource are not well understood. A study was initiated to assess the effect of grazing intensity of native range and fertilized Crested Wheatgrass on soil quality attributes. The study was conducted in Morton County North Dakota. The native range grazing trial (ungrazed, moderately grazed, and heavily grazed) began in 1918 and the fertilized (44.8 kg N ha-1 annually) Crested Wheatgrass stand was established in 1932. Soil samples (0-to-5 and 5-to-15 cm) were collected in October 1997. Soil physical (bulk density), chemical (organic C, total N, inorganic N, pH, and electrical conductivity) and biological (N-mineralization rate, microbial biomass C and N, and number of culturable fungi, bacteria, and actinomycete) attributes were compared among treatments. Bulk density was similar among treatments. Chemical (pH, electrical conductivity, N and C concentration, and N and C content) and biological attributes (N-mineralization rate, actinomycete numbers, and bacteria numbers) were affected by the treatments. Differences among many soil quality attributes were correlated with differences in pasture performance (forage production, animal gain).

Technical Abstract: Pasture management impacts on the soil resource are not well understood. A study was initiated to assess the effect of grazing intensity of native range and fertilized Crested Wheatgrass on soil quality attributes. The study was conducted in Morton County North Dakota. The native range grazing trial (ungrazed, moderately grazed, and heavily grazed) began in 1918 and the fertilized (44.8 kg N ha-1 annually) Crested Wheatgrass stand was established in 1932. Soil samples (0-to-5 and 5-to-15 cm) were collected in October 1997. Soil physical (bulk density), chemical (organic C, total N, inorganic N, pH, and electrical conductivity) and biological (N-mineralization rate, microbial biomass C and N, and number of culturable fungi, bacteria, and actinomycete) attributes were compared among treatments. Bulk density was similar among treatments. Chemical (pH, electrical conductivity, N and C concentration, and N and C content) and biological attributes (N-mineralization rate, actinomycete numbers, and bacteria numbers) were affected by the treatments. Differences among many soil quality attributes were correlated with differences in pasture performance (forage production, animal gain).

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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