Submitted to: Electronic Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: May 18, 2004
Publication Date: June 14, 2004
Citation: Sigua, G.C., Holtkamp, M.L., Linton, J.M., Coleman, S.W. 2004. Lake-dredged materials for beef cattle pasture establishment in subtropics. USGS Digital Library. Technical Abstract: The ability to reuse dredge materials for agricultural purposes is important because it reduces offshore disposal and provides an alternative to disposal of the materials in landfills that are already overtaxed. Beneficial uses of dredging or dredged materials are both economical and environmental. Economically, dredged materials can be used as soil amendments (lime and fertilizer) for early establishment of forage in beef cattle pastures. Often these materials can be obtained at little or no cost to the farmers or landowners. Productive disposal options of lake-dredged materials may provide substantial and intangible benefits that will enhance the environment, community, and society. The objective of this study was to assess lake-dredged materials from Lake Panasoffkee as soil amendment for early establishment of bahiagrass (BG, Paspalum notatum Flügge) in subtropical beef cattle pasture. The treatment combinations were consisted of five test plots (30.5 x 30.5 meters). Each of the plots had different ratio of lake-dredged materials (DM) to natural soil (NS): Plot 1 (0% DM:100% NS); Plot 2 (25% DM:75% NS); Plot 3 (50% DM: 50% NS); Plot 4 (75% DM:25% NS); and Plot 5 (100% DM:0% NS). Each plot was seeded with BG and growth and yield establishment were monitored for 34 weeks. Results disclosed significantly taller (p = 0.001) BG and higher biomass production (p = 0.001) from plots amended with DM than those of BG planted on plots with 0% DM. Results suggest that DM can serve as source of lime and fertilizer to establish BG beef pasture fields in subtropics.