Monday, November 2, 2009: 1:15 PM
Convention Center, Room 412, Fourth Floor
Grazing of winter annual cover crops may offset costs and increase farm revenue in conservation tillage systems. However, cattle may create management problems due to soil compaction and removal of surface residues which may cause potential loss of yield. We report on a four year study to evaluate grazing effects on conservation tillage cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) grown on Cecil soil (fine, kaolinitic, thermic, Typic Kanhapludult) at the USDA-ARS Research Center, Watkinsville, GA. In 2006 and 2007 cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) provided 4.0 to 4.5 Mg ha-1 of forage, enough for 3.5 Angus heifers (Bos Taurus) ha-1 between February 1st and April 15th. Rye consumed in 2008 was about ½ this amount due to dry weather. Cotton lint yields averaged 1.29 Mg ha-1 in 2006, 15 to 20% of this amount in 2007 (a year of sever drought) and 0.98 Mg ha-1 in 2008. There appeared to be little difference in yields due to grazing.