Cropping systems for sustainable nutrient management and dairy production

2007 Annual Report for GS07-064

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2007: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Grant Recipient: Texas A&M University
Region: Southern
State: Texas
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Donald Vietor, PhD
Texas A&M University, Soil & Crop Sciences

Cropping systems for sustainable nutrient management and dairy production


The purpose of this project is to evaluate cropping systems that enable sustainable nutrient management and improved environmental quality for dairy production systems in the southeastern US. Nutrient imports, exports, and forms in soil will be compared between Tifton 85 bermudagrass grown for forage and Tifway bermudagrass turf under field conditions and varied manure management practices.

Objectives/Performance Targets

  1. 1. Compare forage and turfgrass sod production systems with respect to 1.) field-scale nutrient imports and exports and 2.) responses of plant and soil biological and chemical processes to manure management practices. 2. Compare runoff losses of N, P, and organic C among manure management practices for forage and turfgrass sod production systems. 3. Compare mass balance of N and P on field and dairy scale between manure management practices and forage and turfgrass sod production systems.


  • •Plot area tilled and weeds controlled. •Soil was sampled and analyzed. •Composted manure will be collected analyzed and treated with Alum. •Compost treatments will be imposed on designated plots along with planting of sprigs. •Soil will be sampled and analyzed after planting. •Soil cores will be collected from each plot for use in the carbon/nitrogen mineralization study. •Forage and turf biomass will be harvested and sampled for analysis; soil will be sampled following harvest. •Final forage harvest and first sod harvest will occur in the Fall 08. •Runoff treatments in box lysimeters will be installed and two simulated rain events conducted. •Sorption study will be conducted under laboratory conditions. •Sample analysis and statistical analysis will be completed.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The evaluation of manure management practices for the forage and turfgrass production systems is expected to enable producers to optimize and improve net export of nutrients from dairies while protecting water quality. Diverse cropping systems and proper management of manure and nutrients will lead to environmentally responsible and economically viable dairy production in the southeastern US.


Clyde Munster

Texas A&M University, BAEN
College Station, TX
Provin Tony

College Station, TX 77843
Richard White

Texas A&M University, Soil & Crop Science
College Station, TX