Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2004
Publication Date: July 1, 2004
Citation: Sanderson, M.A., Tracy, B.F., Goslee, S.C., Bryant, R.B., Byers, R.A. 2004. Soil nutrient levels on grazing farms in the Northeast USA [abstract]. Agronomy Abstracts. Paper No. C06-sanderson720603-poster. 2003 CDROM. Technical Abstract: Many graziers and grazing advocates emphasize the environmental friendliness of grazing operations. Because of the perceived benefits of nutrient cycling and lower soil erosion on grazing farms, some producers may place a low priority on nutrient management. Soil nutrient levels are one indicator of the level of nutrient management on farms. Our objective was to gain some insight into the level of various soil nutrients on grazing farms across the northeastern USA. We used soil data collected as part of various farm surveys during the last 10 years to gauge the variation in soil nutrient levels within and among farms. We selected five farms for more intensive sampling and determined soil nutrient levels at 0-5 cm and 0-15 cm depths on samples from each paddock on each farm. We found that soil pH (0-15 cm layer) ranged from 5.1 to 7.6 (mean 6.3, S.D. 0.46) and soil P (Mehlich 3 extractable P) ranged from 18 to 416 mg kg-1 (mean 123, S.D. 80). Variation among paddocks within farms was related to cropping history, manure management practices, and grazing management.