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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: OPTIMIZING FORAGE-BASED COW-CALF OPERATIONS TO IMPROVE SUSTAINABILITY OF BEEF CATTLE AGRICULTURE AND WATER QUALITY PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT Title: Lake-dredged material for beef cattle pasture establishment

Authors
item Sigua, Gilbert
item Holtkamp, M -
item Linton, J -
item Coleman, Samuel

Submitted to: Government Publication/Report
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2004
Publication Date: July 15, 2004
Citation: Sigua, G.C., Holtkamp, M.L., Linton, J.M., Coleman, S.W. 2004. Lake-dredged material for beef cattle pasture establishment. Government Publication/Report. Available: http://www.dl.nwrc.gov/ tampa/ prod search tampa.aspx? prodid=463.

Technical Abstract: Carbonatic lake-dredged materials can be used as soil amendments (lime and fertilizer) for early establishment of bahiagrass in beef cattle pastures in Florida. Some of the indirect benefits of the liming effects of this material for pastures include enhancing nutrient availability, nitrification, nitrogen fixation, and improving soil physical conditions. Although carbonatic lake-dredged materials contained relatively low levels of plant nutrients, these levels were adequate for bahiagrass establishment. Additionally, heavy and trace metal contents of these materials were negligible and presented no adverse environmental effect. The ability to reuse carbonatic dredged materials for agricultural purposes is important to society and the environment because it reduces offshore disposal and provides an alternative to disposal of the materials in landfills that are already overtaxed. The economic benefit derives from the fact that these materials (carbonatic lake-dredged materials) have proven liming effect and can be obtained at little or no cost to the farmers or landowners in south Florida. The amount of calcium in carbonatic lake-dredged materials (82%) was even higher than the amount of calcium in calcitic limestone (70%) and dolomitic limestone (58%). Calcitic limestone and dolomitic limestone are the two leading liming materials available commercially. Therefore, carbonatic lake-dredged materials should be regarded as a beneficial resource, as a part of the ecological system. Although our results have demonstrated the promising effects of added dredged materials on the bahiagrass pastures, further long-term studies are with this material on bahiagrass pastures because these pastures have an expected lifespan of >10 years.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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