The influence of feeding strategy on growth and rejection of herbage around dung pats and their decomposition

W.T.E. Bosker, N.J. Hoekstra, E.A. Lantinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fresh cattle dung from four farms with different feeding strategies was used to create artificial dung pats in a continuously grazed pasture in order to compare the rejection of herbage growing around the pats, the effect on undisturbed herbage growth under cages and pat decomposition. The first farm was an extensive organic farm (ORGE) with young steers grazing on a biodiverse sward. The second was an intensive organic farm (ORGI) with dairy cattle grazing on a grass/clover sward during the day and fed low-protein forages indoors. The third dung used was from an integrated farm (TNT), where the feeding strategy was aiming for high dung quality by including straw in the diet. The fourth examined dung was from a conventional farm (CONV) aiming for a high milk production per cow, where fertilized grazed grass was the main component of the diet. A human smell test was performed to rank the odour of the four dungs. After 6 weeks of continuous grazing with dairy cattle, herbage yield around TNT pats tended to be lowest, whilst undisturbed herbage yield in and around caged TNT pats was highest (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-221
JournalThe Journal of Agricultural Science
Volume139
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • mineralization
  • disappearance
  • earthworms
  • nitrogen
  • carbon
  • soil

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