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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Efficient Management and Use of Animal Manure to Protect Human Health and Environmental Quality

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research Unit

Title: Flooding event impacts soil pH, Ca, and P concentration distribution in a cattle backgrounding site on karst topography.

Authors
item Netthisinghe, Annesly -
item Gilfillen, Rebecca -
item Cook, Kimberly
item Sistani, Karamat

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2010
Publication Date: February 6, 2011
Citation: Netthisinghe, A., Gilfillen, R., Cook, K.L., Sistani, K.R. 2011. Flooding event impacts soil pH, Ca, and P concentration distribution in a cattle backgrounding site on karst topography.. Meeting Abstract. Abstract Only.

Technical Abstract: Beef cattle backgrounding in US, function as an intermediate between cow-calf enterprises and feedlot finishing. Beef cattle backgrounding receives weaned calves of different growth stages from cow-calf operations and prepare them ready for feed lot finishing. Many beef cattle backgrounding operations in US have adopted either feedlot or combination of feedlot /grazing systems (Garnett et al. 1978) that congregate animals, feed, manure, and other wastes in smaller land areas. As a result, beef cattle backgrounding confinements can accumulate soil nutrients (Jongbloed and Lenis, 1998). Under heavy rainfall/ flooding events these nutrients can move to surrounding environments impairing soil and water quality. In addition, beef cattle backgrounding on karst topography face additional problems because of karst geomorphic features, like sink holes, can funnel contaminated surface run off from these sites rapidly into ground water. Following a 23 cm. (9.5 in.) rainfall event within 48 hours in May 2010, we studied spatial distribution and temporal changes in soil pH, Ca, and STP in a beef cattle backgrounding site on karst topography from feeder area to nearby sinkhole. Results revealed that soil pH, Ca, and P levels degrading from feeder to sink hole area along the transect. Rainfall (RF)/flooding event did not result in any major changes in soil pH, Ca, and P distribution pattern. However, RF /Flooding event changed the magnitude/ concentrations of measured soil variables. Mean soil pH in the feeder area was increased from8.0 to 8.5. Soil pH in other areas declined after the rainfall event (Grazing, 6.9 vs.6.7; Retention basin, 6.5 vs. 6.0; Sinkhole area, 6.0 vs. 5.6). While, rainfall/ flooding event increased mean soil P and Ca levels in feeder area(1678 vs. 2564 g P/kg; 5139 vs. 5290 g Ca/kg), mean soil P and Ca levels in Grazing, Retention Basin, and Sinkhole Areas were declined after the rainfall/flooding event (P- 271 vs. 193, 197 vs. 157, 120 vs. 101 g P/kg ; Ca - 2207 vs. 1844; 1674 vs. 1447; 1458 vs. 1201g Ca /kg) . Static nature of soil nutrient distribution patterns indicates that topographic control is an important consideration in designing effective BMPs for this particular site. Decline in soil pH, Ca, and P concentrations in grazing, retention basin, and sinkhole areas could be related to surface hydrologic connectivity established during flooding event between the backgrounding site and the sink hole.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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