Intercropping perennial herbaceous crops with trees successfully increased organic soil carbon levels.
Manureshed Helps Farmers While Combating Nutrient Pollution
Historically, farms produced both crops and livestock and recycled animal manure as fertilizers to boost their crop yields. Farms gradually became more specialized, resulting in excessive manure in animal production regions and nutrient loss to the environment. Hoping to reclaim traditional crop-livestock integration among and within farms, ARS researchers with the Range Management Research Unit in Las Cruces, NM, are promoting “manuresheds” to combat nutrient pollution while taking advantage of manure’s productive uses.
Similar to how a watershed works, a manureshed is a system of interconnected pathways linking manure sources to manure sinks. The scientists identified and connected counties with too much manure from livestock farms (dairy, poultry, hogs, beef cattle on feed) to counties with cropping farms that needed the extra nutrients from manure. By redistributing the manure and avoiding the overaccumulation of nutrients, farmers can effectively boost yields and prevent threats to our air and water quality.
Explore Other Discoveries
Keep Carbon In Soil, Out Of Atmosphere
Livestock Fight Against Wildfires
Scientists are investigating the effects of land use management practices on wildfires as part of USDA’s Long-Term Agroecosystem Research program.
Adjusting Cattle Grazing Schedules
Researchers discovered that sending cattle to feedlots earlier than the traditional timing of October may provide a two- fold benefit.
Better Forecasting To Help Agriculture
ARS researchers helped the United Kingdom improve the accuracy of its widely used weather-forecasting models.
Better Grass For Cattle And Cars
Scientists are looking into how they can improve upon the grass cattle put in their bellies and you put in your tank.
Diesel Fuel Gets A Boost From Tung Oil
ARS scientists successfully used tung oil as the starting material for a new additive to improve the performance of diesel fuel.
Cover Crops Shift The Carbon Balance
Planting cover crops and not tilling the soil improves the soil’s carbon balance with minimal impact on the water balance.