Submitted to: Proceeding of Plains Nutrition Council Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The ongoing beef cattle research at the USDA-ARS-CPRL at Bushland, TX, focuses on the area of waste management in confined beef cattle feeding operations. Specific research areas include: Animal Nutrition, Feedlot Dust and Odor Emissions, Land Application of Feedlot Manure, and Use of Playa Lakes as Feedlot Runoff Retention Facilities. Major environmental concerns of High Plains feedyards include losses of nitrogen, phosphorus (P), and other nutrients via runoff, dust, and volatilization. Therefore, nutrition research is currently studying the effects of agronomic practices and grain processing on the utilization of energy, protein and P in grain sorghum, the effects of oscillating dietary protein concentrations on nitrogen and P utilization, development of internal markers to determine digestibility of feedyard rations, and evaluation of P utilization in grains. Feedlot dust and odor emission research studies are in progress to oevaluate the effects of various soil amendments on losses of nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur from the surface of feedyards and to characterize feedlot dust (particle size, bacterial, fungal, endotoxin, chemical content, etc.). Research to improve the use of manure as a fertilizer for dryland crops concentrates on methods to decrease runoff of P from fields and grass plots. The effects of feedlot runoff on characteristics of water and soil in playa lakes (bacterial and fungal composition, chemical composition, wildlife, etc.) is being studied also. Additional trials are in progress to study the effects of the wet/dry cycle on percolation of water and nutrients below playas. It is anticipated that this research will help to prevent and(or) correct potential environmental concerns caused by concentrated beef cattle feedyards.