Submitted to: Agricultural Research Service Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2007
Publication Date: June 4, 2007
Citation: Sigua, G.C., Coleman, S.W. 2007. Using lake dredged material to enhance pasture establishment. USDA-Agricultural Research Service STARS Field Day Book, Brooksville, Florida. p. 37-41.
The cow-calf (Bos taurus) industry in subtropical United States and other parts of the world depends almost totally on grazed pastures. Establishment of complete, uniform stand of bahiagrass in a short time period is vital economically. Domestic wastewater sludge or sewage sludge, composted urban plant debris, waste lime, phosphogypsum, and dredged materials are examples of materials that can be used for fertilizing and liming pastures. A four-year (2001-2005) study on land application of carbonatic lake-dredged materials as an option for disposal was conducted on a beef cattle pasture in south Central Florida. Over the four-year study, bahiagrass in plots treated with carbonatic lake-dredged materials had significantly higher forage yield and crude protein content when compared with those bahiagrass in the control plots. Herbage mass of bahiagrass was increased by about 175%, 164%, and 139% as a result of 100, 75 and 50% of carbonatic lake-dredged materials application, respectively, over the average forage yield of bahiagrass without carbonatic lake-dredged materials. Another equally important beneficial use of carbonatic lake-dredged materials is on enhancing crude protein content and mineral composition of bahiagrass. Results have shown a favorable influence of carbonatic lake-dredged materials on crude protein content of bahiagrass during its early establishment. The average crude protein content of bahiagrass increased linearly with increasing rates of carbonatic lake-dredged materials application. The tissues of bahiagrass with 100% of carbonatic lake-dredged materials had the greatest crude protein content (12.8 %) and the lowest crude protein content was from the control plots (7.3 %).