Does Grazing Crop Residue Compact Soils?

This article comes to us from Will Cushman and the Soil Science Society of America. It goes well with last week's article of tips on what to do about hay/forage shortage this year and a recommendation to talk to neighbors about grazing crop residue. We hope it helps! It makes sense that a 1,200 pound Angus cow would place quite a lot of pressure on the ground on which it walks. But a new study shows that even these heavy beasts can’t do much to compact common soils—if they’re grazed responsibly. The study is unique in its 16-year span. Researchers wanted to know whether grazing cattle on corn stubble left in the field in fall and spring would significantly affect the quality of the soil. It was established in 1997 by Terry Klopfenstein, professor in the department of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Humberto Blanco, a soil scientist and associate professor in the department of Agronomy and Horticulture, led the soil research to evaluate the long-term impact. [caption id="attachment_37300" align="aligncenter" width="430"

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