Grazing System Effects on Soil Compaction in Southern Iowa Pastures

  • James R. Russell (Iowa State University)
  • Justin J. Bisinger (Iowa State University)


Soil compaction was measured as soil bulk density to a depth of 3 inches and soil penetration resistance to a depth of 6 inches at distances of 10 to 300 feet from a water source in pastures grazed by continuous, rotational or paddock strip-stocking at a stocking rate of 0.8 cows per acre over 3 years. Soil bulk density and penetration resistance 10 feet from the water source were greater than measurements further from the water sources. While stocking system had no main effects on soil bulk density and penetration resistance, paddocks grazed by strip-stocking had lower penetration resistance at depths of 0, 5, and 6 inches than continuous stocked pastures in October of each year. Results imply that producers should avoid placing of congregation areas like water sources in areas that would be sensitive to soil erosion and nutrient run off. Use of stocking systems like paddock strip stocking that provide long rest periods may be somewhat helpful in maintaining plant growth and water infiltration in pastures.

Keywords: Animal Science, ASL R2987

How to Cite:

Russell, J. R. & Bisinger, J. J., (2015) “Grazing System Effects on Soil Compaction in Southern Iowa Pastures”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 12(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ans_air-180814-1308

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Published on
01 Jan 2015
Peer Reviewed