Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/2005
Publication Date: 2/7/2005
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Stuedemann, J.A., Wilkinson, S.R. 2005. Bermudagrass productivity and soil quality in the Southern Piedmont [abstract]. Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management Meeting. 5-11 February 2005, Fort Worth, Texas.
Technical Abstract: Productivity and persistence of Coastal bermudagrass pastures and soil physical, chemical, and biological changes due to fertilization interactions with defoliation regime were determined during a 5-year period in northern Georgia. We evaluated three sources of fertilization with equivalent N rates (inorganic, crimson clover cover crop plus inorganic, and broiler litter) factorially arranged with four defoliation regimes [unharvested, cattle grazing to maintain high (4.5 +/- 1.6 Mg/ha) and low (2.5 +/- 1.1 Mg/ha) forage mass, and hayed monthly] on forage and soil properties. Mean annual forage dry matter production was 7.5 Mg/ha with hay harvest, but declined (1.3 Mg/ha/yr) significantly with time as a result of lower precipitation. With grazing, estimated production was 8.3 Mg/ha and did not change with time, suggesting that grazing cattle sustained forage productivity by recycling nutrients and creating better surface soil conditions. Phosphorus and K accumulated with broiler litter application, more so when grazed than when not. Grazed bermudagrass pastures were highly productive and improved soil quality in comparison with ungrazed grassland.