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Title: Spatial variation in spoil and vegetative characteristics of pastures on reclaimed surface mined land

Abstract

Kentucky has large areas of reclaimed surface mined land that could provide grazing for livestock. Research is needed to determine optimal stocking densities and to evaluate the sustainability of such grazing systems for this region. A long-term grazing study was initiated in 1997 on 151 ha of reclaimed land near Chavies, KY to determine spatial and temporal variation with stocking densities of 0, 0.28, 0.42, or 0.83 beef cow-calf units/ha. Global Positioning System and GIS technologies were used to establish pasture boundaries, locate permanent sampling markers at a density of 1 per 0.4 ha, and interpolate maps of physical, spoil, and vegetable pasture characteristics. Herbage and spoil samples were collected around the permanent markers in May of 1997. Stepwise regression was used to determine factors affecting the vegetative characteristics of the sites. Biomass density ranged from 0 to 2500 kg/ha with a mean of 570 kg/ha. Factors affecting biomass included legume and weed proportions in the sward, grazing activity, soil potassium, elevation, and potential acidity, cumulatively accounting for 32% of the variation. Ground cover ranged from 10 to 100% with an average of 74%. Soil pH, potassium, and grass in the sward accounted for 14% of the variation in groundmore » cover. Legumes made up 0 to 61% of the sward with a mean of 13% over the pasture area. Variables affecting the amount of legume in the sward included biomass density, slope, elevation, pH, and stocking density, together accounting for 21% of the variation. Spatial variation in the physical, spoil, and vegetative characteristics of the pastures was large. Overall, regression accounted for a limited amount of the variation in the vegetative characteristics of the site indicating that other important variables exist.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY (US)
OSTI Identifier:
20023323
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 16th Annual National Meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, Scottsdale, AZ (US), 08/13/1999--08/19/1999; Other Information: PBD: [1999]; Related Information: In: Mining and reclamation for the next millennium. Proceedings of the 16th annual national meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, by Bengson, S.A.; Bland, D.M. [eds.], 745 pages.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; KENTUCKY; SURFACE MINING; COAL MINING; LAND RECLAMATION; PASTURES; CATTLE; POPULATION DENSITY; GROUND COVER; INVENTORIES

Citation Formats

Teutsch, C.D., Collins, M., and Ditsch, D.C. Spatial variation in spoil and vegetative characteristics of pastures on reclaimed surface mined land. United States: N. p., 1999. Web.
Teutsch, C.D., Collins, M., & Ditsch, D.C. Spatial variation in spoil and vegetative characteristics of pastures on reclaimed surface mined land. United States.
Teutsch, C.D., Collins, M., and Ditsch, D.C. 1999. "Spatial variation in spoil and vegetative characteristics of pastures on reclaimed surface mined land". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_20023323,
title = {Spatial variation in spoil and vegetative characteristics of pastures on reclaimed surface mined land},
author = {Teutsch, C.D. and Collins, M. and Ditsch, D.C.},
abstractNote = {Kentucky has large areas of reclaimed surface mined land that could provide grazing for livestock. Research is needed to determine optimal stocking densities and to evaluate the sustainability of such grazing systems for this region. A long-term grazing study was initiated in 1997 on 151 ha of reclaimed land near Chavies, KY to determine spatial and temporal variation with stocking densities of 0, 0.28, 0.42, or 0.83 beef cow-calf units/ha. Global Positioning System and GIS technologies were used to establish pasture boundaries, locate permanent sampling markers at a density of 1 per 0.4 ha, and interpolate maps of physical, spoil, and vegetable pasture characteristics. Herbage and spoil samples were collected around the permanent markers in May of 1997. Stepwise regression was used to determine factors affecting the vegetative characteristics of the sites. Biomass density ranged from 0 to 2500 kg/ha with a mean of 570 kg/ha. Factors affecting biomass included legume and weed proportions in the sward, grazing activity, soil potassium, elevation, and potential acidity, cumulatively accounting for 32% of the variation. Ground cover ranged from 10 to 100% with an average of 74%. Soil pH, potassium, and grass in the sward accounted for 14% of the variation in ground cover. Legumes made up 0 to 61% of the sward with a mean of 13% over the pasture area. Variables affecting the amount of legume in the sward included biomass density, slope, elevation, pH, and stocking density, together accounting for 21% of the variation. Spatial variation in the physical, spoil, and vegetative characteristics of the pastures was large. Overall, regression accounted for a limited amount of the variation in the vegetative characteristics of the site indicating that other important variables exist.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1999,
month = 7
}

Conference:
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  • Kentucky has large areas of reclaimed surface mined land that could provide grazing for livestock. Research is needed to define optimum stocking densities and to determine the sustainability of such grazing systems for this region. A long-term field study was initiated in 1997 on 151 ha of reclaimed land near Chavies, KY to assess spatial and temporal variation under grazing with stocking densities of 0, 0.28, 0.42, or 0.83 beef cow/calf pairs/ha. Global Positioning System and GIS technologies were employed to interpolate surface maps of the site using 11,000 points. Herbage and soil samples were collected around permanent markers systematicallymore » placed over the entire area at a density of 1 per 0.4 ha. Elevation ranged from 295 to 371 m and pasture slope ranged from 0 to 57{degree} with a mean of 13{degree}. Biomass density in late April ranged from 0 to 2500 kg/ha and was lowest at the highest stocking density, where grazing activity was highest. Spring-born calves averaged 240 kg at weaning. Cow weight and body condition score at the end of the grazing season was reduced at the highest stocking density and suggests that the highest stocking density may be excessive for mined land pastures in this region.« less
  • This is a short article on the productivity of beef cattle on reclaimed strip mines. The experiment took place in Virginia where coal mines have been reclaimed with a mixture of Sericea lespedeza and tall fescue. The paper presents two years of data on feeding and management of these cattle.
  • Surface coal mining in northwestern Colorado has disturbed large areas of land and the underlying bedrock. During mining, the overburden and coal are removed, and the fragmented overburden (spoil) is placed back into the mine pit. This removal and replacement process can alter the hydrology of the area. At the Seneca Mine, a water-table aquifer has formed in the reclaimed-coal-mined land (RCML), and a spring, which is supplied by the water-table aquifer in the RCML, has formed at the base of the reclaimed slope. Hydraulic and isotopic analyses indicate that during 1988, recharge to the aquifer in the RCML wasmore » from snowmelt and an underlying underburden aquifer. Mixing calculations based on oxygen and hydrogen isotope analysis from water samples collected in May 1988 indicate that between 53 and 63 percent of the recharge to the RCML aquifer came from the underburden aquifer.« less
  • This report presents the results of statistical and trend analyses on surface-water-quality and streambed-sediment-quality data at four surface-water sites in Fulton County, Ill., from 1972 through 1989. Water-quality data for these sites were evaluated for monotonic trends and for differences in the mean values of constituent concentrations among the sites. The results are presented in tabular form.
  • Surface mining of coal leads to the drastic disturbance of soils. Compaction of replaced subsoil and topsoil resulting from hauling, grading, and leveling procedures produces a poor rooting medium for crop growth. Soil compaction results in high bulk density, low macroporosity, poor water infiltration capacity, and reduced elongation of plant roots. In the United States, Public Law 95-87 mandates that the rooting medium of mined soils have specific textural characteristics and be graded and shaped to a topography similar to premining conditions. Also, crop productivity levels equivalent to those prior to mining must be achieved, especially for prime farmland. Alleviationmore » of compaction has been the major focus of reclamation, and recently new techniques to augment the rooting zone with deep-ripping and loosening equipment have come to the forefront. Several surface mine operators in the Illinois coal basin are using deep tillage equipment that is capable of loosening soils to greater depths than is possible with conventional farm tillage equipment. Information on the beneficial effects of these loosening procedures on soil hydrological properties, such as infiltration, runoff potential, erosion, and water retention, is extremely important for future mined land management. However, such information is lacking. In view of the current yield demonstration regulation for prime farmland and other unmined soils, it is important that as much information as possible be obtained concerning the effect of deep tillage on soil hydrologic properties. The objectives of this study are: (1) to compare infiltration rates and related soil physical properties of mined soils reclaimed by various deep tillage treatments and (2) to study the temporal variability of infiltration and related physical properties of the reclaimed mined soil after deep tillage treatment.« less