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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #214682

Title: Effects of buffers and grazing management on runoff and runoff water quality from pastures

item Brauer, David
item Pote, Daniel
item Moore, Philip

Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2007
Publication Date: 1/28/2008
Citation: Brauer, D.K., Pote, D.H., Moore Jr, P.A. 2008. Effects of buffers and grazing management on runoff and runoff water quality from pastures. American and Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings. 01/28/2008. . American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings.

Interpretive Summary: See Abstract

Technical Abstract: Abstract: Only limited data are available on the impacts of rotational grazing schemes and buffers on water quality of runoff, despite the fact that these practices are being advocated as means of decreasing nutrient losses from pastures. This report summarizes data from a long-term study near Booneville AR that was started in 2003. Three replications of 5 treatments were established on the northwest facing slope of a ridge. The five treatments are: 1) hay field; 2) simulated continuous grazing; 3) rotational grazing; 4) rotational grazing with a no fertilizer application strip (11m); and 5) rotational grazing pressure with a grass-tree buffer strip (13m). Forested riparian buffers were established during the winter of 2003-2004 with one year-old RPM@ seedlings of green ash, white oak and pecan. Runoff volume and soil bulk density have been monitored since 2003. Poultry litter applications were made annually starting in April 2004. Grazing treatments were started in May 2004. Percentage of tree seedlings in the three forested riparian buffers surviving at the end of the 2007 growing season has been high, exceeding 85%. Relative growth of white oak and green ash has been greater than that of pecans. Runoff volumes and sediment losses have been less than that predicted from existing erosion equations. Thus, losses of applied P have been less than expected. Data are being analyzed to identify factors that affect runoff volume and P losses most significantly. Results from this system and others may be used to modify the existing Arkansas Soil P index, a tool for determining poultry litter application rates.