Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 37, Number 6 (November 1984) by Subjects
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Copper and Molybdenum Uptake by Forages Grown on Coal Mine SoilsCoal mine soils have shown a tendency to produce leguminous vegetation containing elevated concentrations of molybdenum (Mo). The potential for cattle developing copper (Cu) deficiency by grazing vegetated areas is increased at one mine where a shale interburden material contains elevated Mo levels. The purpose of this study was to determine if mixing or dilution of the interburden with low-Mo sandy overburden would produce vegetation with undesirably high Mo levels or low Cu/Mo ratios. Concentrations of Cu, Mo, sulfur, and Cu/Mo ratios of several legumes and one grass species grown on these alkaline coal mine soils suggest that, with the exception of white sweetclover, mixing of the Mo-bearing interburden material with sandy overburden resulted in desirable elemental levels and ratios for grazing cattle if the mine soils were covered with an adequate depth (0.6 m) of suitable topsoil. Vegetation uptake of Mo was species and site specific.