|Neel, James - Jim|
Submitted to: American Water Resources Association Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2006
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A major limitation to efficient forage-based livestock production in Appalachia is asynchrony of forage availability and quality with nutritional requirements of the grazer. Producers require dependable plant resources and management practices that improve the seasonal distribution and persistence of high quality herbage, sustainability and environmental integrity of the agricultural landscape. Producers also require a fundamental knowledge of the impacts of agricultural practices on water quality to address personal goals and societal concerns. Piezometers were used to monitor water quality at the soil/bedrock interface under conventional pasture (CP), silvopasture (SP), and hardwood forest (HF). The pasture and silvopasture were rotationally grazed by sheep during the spring to fall grazing season. Geometric mean fecal coliform bacteria concentrations were greatest in SP with no difference between CP and HF. Total N was greatest in HF, but mean NO3-N concentration was greatest in HF and CP and NH4-N was greatest in HF and SP. There were no differences in mean total dissolved organic carbon or Cl- concentrations. The greatest Na and K concentrations were observed in HF and the lowest mean concentrations in CP. The observations will be important inputs to the development of decision support tools for maximizing forage and livestock productivity while protecting surface and groundwater quality.