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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Feedlot Soil Surveys Using Electromagnetic Induction to Locate Areas of Nutrient Buildup - Preliminary Results

Authors
item EIGENBERG, ROGER
item WOODBURY, BRYAN
item NIENABER, JOHN

Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 21, 2004
Publication Date: January 5, 2005
Citation: Eigenberg, R.A., Woodbury, B.L., Nienaber, J.A. 2005. Feedlot soil surveys using electromagnetic induction to locate areas of nutrient buildup - preliminary results. In: Symposium State of the Science, Animal Manure and Waste Management. January 5-7, 2005. San Antonio, Texas. 2005 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Nutrient management of cattle feedlots is a topic of increasing environmental, sociological, and regulatory concern. Buildup of nutrients on feedlot surfaces with associated gaseous emissions, as well as runoff and leaching potential, pose challenges for both producers and regulators. This paper considers measurement methods to discern feedlot surface nutrient distributions with methodologies to improve corresponding management. An electromagnetic induction soil conductivity meter was used to survey four feedlot pens at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. Soil conductivity was mapped and conductivity zones were identified. Analyses of soil cores taken from each zone were determined. Preliminary results indicate good correlations between soil conductivity and associated volatile solids (organic matter associated with manure). Volatile solids are closely associated with other nutrients including total nitrogen and total phosphorus. Identifying areas of intense nutrient buildup holds the promise of site-specific management options, and a subsequent reduction of nutrient loss.

Technical Abstract: Nutrient management of cattle feedlots is a topic of increasing environmental, sociological, and regulatory concern. Buildup of nutrients on feedlot surfaces with associated gaseous emissions, as well as runoff and leaching potential, pose challenges for both producers and regulators. This paper considers spatial and temporal aspects of feedlot surface nutrient distributions with methodologies to improve feedlot surface management. An electromagnetic induction soil conductivity meter was used to survey four feedlot pens at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. Soil conductivity was mapped and conductivity zones were identified. Analyses of soil cores from transects across each zone were determined. Preliminary results indicate correlations between apparent electrical conductivity and associated volatile solids (r-squared = 0.77 for volatile solids). Volatile solids are closely associated with nutrients (r-squared = 0.92 for total N and r-squared = 0.80 for total P). Identifying areas of intense nutrient buildup holds the promise of site-specific management options, and a subsequent reduction of nutrient loss.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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