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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Utilization of Animal Manure for the Production of Buffalograss in the Southern High Plains

Author
item Springer, Timothy

Submitted to: Southern Pasture and Forage Crop Improvement Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2000
Publication Date: April 1, 2001

Interpretive Summary: High forage production of buffalograss is possible under intensive management (addition of N fertilizer and water management). An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of solid cattle manure, composted dairy manure, liquid swine effluent, and commercial organic fertilizer (urea) at two application rates (60 and 120 kg N/ha) on the growth and yield of buffalograss under irrigation. This study found that all of the source of fertilizer (nitrogen) tested had greater dry matter yield than unfertilized buffalograss and that the source and rate of nitrogen did not affect forage crude protein or digestibility. As the buffalograss sod matures, greater differences in application rate and fertilizer source may occur among the response variables. Given the availability of livestock manure in the High Plains and the need for utilization of this by-product from confined animal feeding operations, the application of manures on buffalograss for hay production may be economically viable and sustainable as a production system. Further research is needed, however, on the long term effects of applying animal manure to crop and rangelands in the High Plains region in relation to soil nutrient loading and water quality.

Technical Abstract: Application of livestock manure to range and crop lands is one of the most obvious methods of recycling nutrients. An experiment was continued to determine the effect of solid cattle manure, composted dairy manure, liquid swine effluent, and commercial organic fertilizer (urea) at two application rates (60 and 120 kg N/ha) on the growth and yield of buffalograss under irrigation. Two forage harvests were taken during the growing season and forage height was measured before each harvest. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in average forage height was found for fertilizer source and application rate. Similarly, significant differences (P < 0.05) in season total forage dry matter production was found for fertilizer source and application rate. The source and rate of fertilizer did not affect forage crude protein or digestibility. As the buffalograss sod matures, greater differences in application rate and fertilizer source may occur among the response variables. Given the availability of livestock manure in the Hig Plains and the need for utilization of this by-product from confined animal feeding operations, the application of manures on buffalograss for hay production may be economically viable and sustainable as a production system.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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