Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 3, 2003
Publication Date: May 4, 2003
Citation: Sigua, G.C., Holtlcamp, M.L., Linton, J.M., Coleman, S.W. 2003. Disposal alternative of lake-dredged materials for bahiagrass establishment in subtropical beef pasture. American Society of Agronomy Meetings, Mobile AL.
The continued need to dredge lakes, rivers, and canals in Florida, both for maintenance and environmental improvement, will produce millions of cubic meters of dredged materials. Productive disposal options of lake-dredged materials (LDM) may provide substantial and intangible benefits that will enhance the environment, community, and society. The objective of this study was to assess LDM as a soil amendment for establishment of bahiagrass (BG, Paspalum notatum Flügge) in subtropical beef cattle pasture at Sumter County, Florida. This study encompassed two phases: Phase 1 comprised of five small observation plots (0.3 x 0.3 m); Phase 2 consisted of five larger test plots (30.5 x 30.5 m). Each of the plots in Phase 1 and Phase 2 had different ratio of LDM to natural soil (NS): Plot 1 (0% LDM + 100% NS); Plot 2 (25% LDM + 75% NS); Plot 3 (50% LDM + 50% NS); Plot 4 (75% LDM + 25% NS); and Plot 5 (100% LDM + 0% NS). Each plot was seeded with BG and early growth and yield establishment were monitored for 16 weeks. Results disclosed significantly taller (p = 0.001) and higher biomass production (p = 0.001) of BG from plots amended with higher LDM than those of BG planted on plots with 0% LDM. Results suggest that LDM can serve as source of lime and fertilizer to establish BG beef pasture fields. Sediments with high CaCO3 from Lake Panasoffkee (LP) improved the physical and chemical conditions of subtropical beef pastures. Lake-dredged materials could be removed from the spoil containment areas, trucked to other locations, and incorporated into existing fields for agricultural uses. There is still much to be learned, but it is certain that LP sediments should be regarded as a resource, with no harmful ecological effects.