Impact of transition from permanent pasture to new swards on the nitrogen use efficiency, nitrogen and carbon budgets of beef and sheep production

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Carswell, A. M., Gongadze, K., Misselbrook, T. H. and Wu, L. 2019. Impact of transition from permanent pasture to new swards on the nitrogen use efficiency, nitrogen and carbon budgets of beef and sheep production. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 283 (1 November), p. 106572.

AuthorsCarswell, A. M., Gongadze, K., Misselbrook, T. H. and Wu, L.
Abstract

There is currently much debate around the environmental implications of ruminant farming and a need for robust data on nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) fluxes from beef and sheep grazing systems. Here we use data collected from the North Wyke Farm Platform along with the SPACSYS model to examine the N and C budgets and the N use efficiency (NUE) of grassland swards at different stages of establishment. We assessed the transition from permanent pasture (PP) to a high-sugar grass (HSG), and a mixed sward of HSG with white clover (HSGC), identifying data specifically for the reseed (RS) years and the first year following RS (HSG-T and HSGC-T). Dominant fluxes for the N budget were N offtake as cut herbage and via livestock grazing, chemical-N fertiliser and N leaching at 88-280, 15–177, and 36–92 kg N ha−1 a−1, respectively. Net primary productivity, soil respiration and C offtake as cut herbage and via livestock grazing at 1.9 –15.9, 1.74–12.5, and 0.34–11.7 t C ha−1 a−1, respectively, were the major C fluxes. No significant differences were found between the productivity of any of the swards apart from in the RS year of establishment. However, NUE of the livestock production system was significantly greater for the HSGC and HSGC-T swards at 32 and 42% compared to all other swards, associated with the low chemical-N fertiliser inputs to these clover-containing swards. Our findings demonstrate opportunities for improving NUE in grazing systems, but also the importance of setting realistic NUE targets for these systems to provide achievable goals for land-managers.

KeywordsBalance; Carbon; Grazing; Livestock; Nitrogen use efficiency; Nutrient budgets; Reseed
Year of Publication2019
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Journal citation283 (1 November), p. 106572
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.agee.2019.106572
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBBSRC Newton funding
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Natural Environment Research Council
Funder project or codeUK - China Virtual Joint Centre for Improved Nitrogen Agronomy (CINAG)
The North Wyke Farm Platform- National Capability [2017-22]
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
Modelling and managing critical zone relationships between soil, water and ecosystem processes across the Loess Plateau
Publisher's version
Copyright license
CC BY
Supplemental file
Copyright license
Publisher copyright
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Jun 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted10 Jun 2019
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
ISSN0167-8809

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/8ww2x/impact-of-transition-from-permanent-pasture-to-new-swards-on-the-nitrogen-use-efficiency-nitrogen-and-carbon-budgets-of-beef-and-sheep-production

53 total views
60 total downloads
4 views this month
5 downloads this month
Download files as zip