Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Goats Can Be Too Much of a Good Thing for Pastures

03.07.2008
Recent research confirmed that--up to a point--liming the soil ameliorates the nitrogen "burn" from the urine, as well as the plant scorching effects of the urine's concentrated salts and organic acids. The researchers found that one or two urinations supplied enough nitrogen to actually help fescue grass growth. But the third application of urine was deadly.

Dale Ritchey, a retired soil scientist, and Doug Boyer, a hydrologist at the Agricultural Research Service's Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center in Beaver, W. Va., and colleagues showed this in an experiment that also confirmed that--up to a point--liming the soil ameliorates the nitrogen "burn" from the urine, as well as the plant scorching effects of the urine's concentrated salts and organic acids.

They found that one or two urinations supplied enough nitrogen to actually help fescue grass growth: yields were up three to four-and-a-half times those from the soil cores with no urine added. Liming increased the yields even more. But the third application of urine was deadly. And the lime only made it worse.

The scientists collected 32 sample soil cores, complete with vegetation left in place, from an abandoned pasture typical of those farmers use goats to clear. Soils in these pastures in the Appalachian Region are usually acidic, infertile soils.

In a greenhouse, the scientists treated 16 soil cores with lime. Then 18 weeks later, they added one urine sample to most cores. Two weeks after that, they added a second urine treatment to 16 cores. Two weeks after that, they added a third urine sample to 8 of those cores. They left some cores without urine for comparison.

"Drainage water from the cores that had three urine applications had nitrate-nitrogen concentrations much higher than the safe limit for drinking water," Boyer says.

"In soils not pretreated with lime, urine lowered soil calcium and magnesium levels and further raised the soil's acidity. And it raised levels of aluminum, which is toxic to plant roots. Soils pretreated with lime prevented these damaging changes, in a matter of months." Boyer says. "This was especially true for the highest urine level. It seems that liming works more quickly as urine levels rise in soils. This adds useful information to the little we've known about the combined effects of liming and heavy urine levels in marginal soils. We had found earlier that liming can take several years to lower toxic levels of aluminum, for example. But in this study we found that urine-soaked soil can shrink that time span to 27 weeks."

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at http://soil.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/72/3/626.

Soil Science Society of America Journal, http://soil.scijournals.org, is a peer-reviewed international journal published six times a year by the Soil Science Society of America. Its contents focus on research relating to physics; chemistry; biology and biochemistry; fertility and plant nutrition; genesis, morphology, and classification; water management and conservation; forest, range, and wildland soils; nutrient management and soil and plant analysis; mineralogy; and wetland soils.

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. For more information, visit http://www.soils.org.

SSSA is the founding sponsor of an approximately 5,000-square foot exhibition, Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, opening July 19, 2008 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Sara Uttech | newswise
Further information:
http://www.soils.org
http://soil.scijournals.org
http://soil.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/72/3/626

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How gut bacteria can make us ill

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

On track to heal leukaemia

18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>