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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Yield and Rooting Activity of Forage Grasses on a Surface-mined Soil of Texas1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 71 No. 1, p. 113-116
    Received: May 13, 1978

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  1. F. M. Hons,
  2. L. R. Hossner and
  3. E. L. Whiteley2



Lignite mining is an expanding industry within Texas. Little or no research has been reported concerning forage production and revegetation following disturbance in this region. Forage plots were established in 1975 to determine the effect of disturbance upon forage production in an area which had been surface-mined for lig nite in 1972.

The mined soil was originally classified in the fine , montmorillonitic, thermic family of Udertic Paleustalfs. Forages used included NK-37 bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L. Pers.), Pensacola bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge), coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L. Pers.), and Kleingass (Panicum coloratum L.)

Forage production on the mined soil was comparable to or greater than yields reported on unmined Soils at similar rates of N application. Nitrogen applications were much more significant in determining forage yields than were P additions.

Surface soils were finer in texture following mining due to the mixing of the profile in the mining process. The mined soil possessed a greater percentage of water at field capacity than did an unmined surface soil, primarily because of the finer texture after mining. The potentially increased moisture holding capacity may account for production comparable to that reported for unmined soils with less total moisture received.

The total rooting mass for coastal bermudagass on the mined soil was approximately three times greater than the root mass observed on a soil genetically related to the unmined soils of the region. Increased rooting activity may result from the destruction of the dense claypan associated with the soil before mining plus the potentially increased moisture holding capacity of the soil following mining.

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