Translating Grazing: Calculating Nitrogen Credits from Cool-Season Integrated Crop Livestock Systems

Project Overview

GS20-219
Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2020: $16,493.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2022
Grant Recipient: University of Florida
Region: Southern
State: Florida
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Marcelo Wallau
University of Florida

Commodities

  • Agronomic: cotton, peanuts
  • Animals: bovine

Practices

  • Crop Production: nutrient management
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems

    Proposal abstract:

    Integrated crop-livestock systems (ICLS) have been identified as having synergistic benefits in the environmental and economic facets of sustainability. Diversification of farm production, increased efficiency of land and resource uses, and soil health are among these described benefits. Despite the multitude of benefits and previous work on these systems, questions remain regarding fundamental management components and how to best translate the environmental benefits into tangible, relatable terms to agricultural producers. This project aims to address these issues by quantifying nitrogen stocks, inputs, and mineralization across a range of grazing pressures in a cover cropped, winter grazed ICLS. The data resulting from these efforts will be used to describe nitrogen dynamics and calculate potential nitrogen credits in these systems. This will serve to translate the effects of grazing cover crops in ICLS into a palpable benefit expressed in familiar terms to interested adopters of ICLS.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Estimate grazing effects on nitrogen stocks and inputs in ICLS
    2. Measure soil mineralization of nitrogen during the transition from grazed cover crop to row crop phases in ICLS
      • Compare soil nitrogen mineralization under a range of grazing intensities to existing models of ungrazed cover crop nitrogen mineralization.
      • Estimate nitrogen credits provided by organic nitrogen mineralization in a range of grazing intensities.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.