Submitted to: Advances in Geoecology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2006
Publication Date: May 1, 2006
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Stuedemann, J.A. 2006. Soil physical and biological responses to cattle grazing of cover crops. In: (Editors)Horn, R., Fleige, H., Peth, S., Peng, X., Catena Verlag, Reiskircham, Germany. Advances in Geoecology. 38:117-123 Technical Abstract: Integration of crops and livestock could be either detrimental or beneficial to soil properties, depending upon timing and intensity of animal traffic and residue cover of the soil surface. We determined surface-soil properties of a Typic Kanhapludult in northeastern Georgia USA during the first three years of an experiment evaluating the effect of tillage [conventional (CT), conservation (NT)], cropping system (summer grain-winter cover, winter grain-summer cover), and cover crop utilization (grazed, ungrazed) variables. With initially high soil organic C due to previous pasture management, depth distribution of total and microbial biomass C became widely divergent between CT and NT following cropping management. Soil bulk density was reduced at a depth of 3-12 cm with CT, but soil became reconsolidated below 12 cm, similar to that under NT. Ponded water infiltration tended to be lower under grazed than under ungrazed cover crop management, especially at higher antecedent soil water contents. No-tillage management created an advantage in pasture – crop rotation systems by preserving the organic matter-enriched surface soil to buffer against compactive forces.