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Title: Soil and water quality with tall fescue management in the Southern Piedmont

item Franzluebbers, Alan
item Haney, Richard
item Endale, Dinku
item Buyer, Jeffrey
item Franklin, Dorcas
item ZUBERER, D - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/18/2010
Publication Date: 7/18/2010
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Haney, R.L., Endale, D.M., Buyer, J.S., Franklin, D.H., Zuberer, D. 2010. Soil and water quality with tall fescue management in the Southern Piedmont [abstract]. Annual meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, July 18-21, 2010, St. Louis, Missouri.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Pasture management not only affects plant and animal productivity, but also soil quality, carbon sequestration, and water quality. These additional ecosystem services need to be evaluated under a diversity of management approaches, including how nutrients are supplied (i.e. inorganic or broiler litter application), how forage is harvested (i.e. grazed by cattle or hayed), and the type of forage (i.e. tall fescue without endophyte or with wild or novel endophyte). A long-term study in 2.5-acre paddocks was evaluated to determine these factors on soil quality (i.e. bulk density, penetration resistance, nutrient contents, soil organic matter fractions, and microbial community structure and function), soil organic carbon sequestration (i.e. rate of carbon accumulation in surface soil and litter), and water runoff volume and quality. Forage harvest by grazing enhanced soil organic matter accumulation compared with haying, but also led to redistribution of nutrients in a non-uniform manner, which could alter future pasture utilization and associated water quality. These results will help improve recommendations to farmers, professional practitioners, and policy makers for obtaining balanced ecosystem services from grassland-based agricultural systems in the southeastern USA.