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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 72 No. 4, p. 597-600
    Received: Oct 12, 1979

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Reclamation of Surface-Mined Coal Spoils in Western Kentucky1

  1. J. L. Powell,
  2. R. I. Barnhisel and
  3. G. W. Akin2



Revegetation of disturbed land as requited by Public Law 95.87 is a difficult task due to the lack of technology and added restrictions that negates the use of past experience utilized under less stringent laws. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of land preparation and of P fertilizer in the reclamation of surface- mined coal spoils. Four land preparation treatments were used with three levels of P superimposed on each. The area was seeded to Ky 31 tall fescue (Festuca awndinacea Schreb.) and Kenland red clover (Trifolium pratense L). Good vegetative cover was obtained on plots to which P was applied but, without it, grass and legume plants were stunted. There was a significant forage yield response to P the first harvest year (second rowing season). The effect of this single P application diminished with time, and by the fourth growing season P had no effect on yield. The rough micro-relief produced by ripping (subsoiling) significantly increased yields over those obtained from disking treatments, a p parently by creating a micro-relief which improved water intake and offset the slow infiltration rate of spoil materials. The use of a mulch further increased yields primarily by protecting the surface and maintaining the rough micro-topography. The influence of ripping diminished with time. At the last harvest, there were no significant differences in yields as the result of land preparation treatments.

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