Submitted to: Government Publication/Report
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: May 13, 2008
Publication Date: June 16, 2008
Citation: Sigua, G.C. 2008. Assessing the efficacy of dredged materials: Pasture establishment and forage productivity. In: Annual Report S-1032: Improving the Sustainability of Livestock and Poultry Production in the United States. USDA-CSREES National Facilitation Project Livestock and Poultry. 5 pp.
Currently, dredged material disposal alternatives have several limitations. Options for dealing with dredged materials include leaving them alone, capping them with clean sediments, placing them in confined facilities, disposing of them at upland sites, treating them chemically, or using them for wetlands creation or other beneficial uses. The ability to reuse lake-dredge materials (LDM) for agricultural purposes is important because it reduces the need for offshore disposal and provides an alternative to disposal of the materials in landfills. Often these materials can be obtained at little or no cost to the farmers or landowners. Thus, forage production offers an alternative to waste management since nutrients in the LDM are recycled into crops that are not directly consumed by humans. The objectives of this study were to (1) assess LDM as a soil amendment to establish bahiagrass (BG) in a subtropical beef cattle pasture in Sumter County, Florida; and (2) determine the effect of LDM application on the crude protein (CP) concentration and nutrient uptake of BG. Beneficial uses of dredged materials are both economical and environmental. Often these materials can be obtained at little or no cost to the farmers or landowners. Results showed that dredged materials can be used as soil amendments (lime and fertilizer) for early establishment of BG in beef cattle pastures.