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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF NUTRIENTS FROM BEEF FEEDLOTS TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT Title: Electromagnetic Induction Soil Conductivity Measurements to Locate Nutrient Buildup on Feedlot Surfaces

Authors
item Eigenberg, Roger
item Woodbury, Bryan
item Nienaber, John

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 9, 2005
Publication Date: November 9, 2005
Citation: Eigenberg, R.A., Woodbury, B.L., Nienaber, J.A. 2005. Electromagnetic induction soil conductivity measurements to locate nutrient buildup on feedlot surfaces. Meeting Abstract.2005 International Annual Meetings American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, 218, #2.

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. Initial results indicate correlations between ECa 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). Methods were developed to establish repeatable management thresholds throughout seasonal changes and pen conditions. Geo-statistical methods are being evaluated to estimate the extent and amount of specific nutrients across the feedlot surface. Identifying areas of intense nutrient buildup holds the promise of site-specific management options, and a subsequent reduction of nutrient loss.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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