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Cattle grazing impact on surface water quality in a Colorado Front Range streamAuthor(s): Howard L. Gary; Steven R. Johnson; Stanley L. Ponce
Source: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 38(2): 124-128.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (852.0 KB)
DescriptionCattle grazing in pastures bisected by a small perennial stream in central Colorado had only minor effects on water quality during two years of study. Suspended solids and nitrate nitrogen did not increase significantly, and ammonia nitrogen increased significantly only once under moderate rates of grazing. Indicator bacteria densities in the stream water were significantly higher when at least 150 cattle were grazing. After removal of cattle or when 40 head of cattle were grazing, bacterial counts dropped to levels similar to those in an adjacent, ungrazed pasture. About 5 percent of the total manure produced by cattle contributed to pollution and/or enrichment of the stream.
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CitationGary, Howard L.; Johnson, Steven R.; Ponce, Stanley L. 1983. Cattle grazing impact on surface water quality in a Colorado Front Range stream. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 38(2): 124-128.
Keywordswater quality, cattle grazing, nitrate-nitrogen, ammonia-nitrogen, bacteria
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