Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minimizing mining damage with manure

Date:
October 26, 2012
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
New research confirms that the time-tested practice of amending crop soils with manure also can help restore soils on damaged post-mining landscapes.

ARS research has found that amending damaged post-mining soil with very high levels of cow manure compost can reduce the amount of heavy metals such as lead and zinc available to run off and pollute nearby waterways as well improve the potential for growing vegetation.
Credit: Luke Baker, Brookside Laboratories, Inc.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research confirms that the time-tested practice of amending crop soils with manure also can help restore soils on damaged post-mining landscapes.

Related Articles


Thousands of acres of land with little or no vegetation, once mined for lead and zinc, remain throughout an area of southwestern Missouri, southeastern Kansas, and northeastern Oklahoma. The mining activities also left behind a legacy of lead-contaminated acidic soils, toxic smelter sites, and large quantities of mine tailings called "chat."

Soil scientist Paul White at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma, La., was part of a team that studied whether adding beef manure compost to soil at post-mining sites would provide the carbon needed to support a healthy plant cover. The scientists also wanted to determine if the compost could reduce levels of lead and zinc that could contaminate runoff during heavy rain. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

The team amended soils in experimental plots from the mine sites with 20 or 120 tons of beef manure compost per acre, and established a cover crop of switchgrass on all the plots. Then they took soil samples from the sites five times during the two-year study.

Two years after the study began, soils in the high-compost plots had significant increases in pH, plant-available phosphorus, total nitrogen, carbon and available water. High-compost amendments also increased microbial biomass, enzyme activity and nitrification potential, all of which create and support favorable conditions for plant establishment and growth.

High rates of compost also lowered lead and zinc availability by about 90 percent, which may reduce the amount of lead and zinc that could run off and pollute nearby waterways. Since high levels of bioavailable zinc inhibit plant growth, this binding action also helps to promote the establishment of a vegetative cover that minimizes runoff and soil erosion.

The team published its findings in Applied Soil Ecology in 2011.

Read more about this study in the October 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/oct12/soils1012.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Ann Perry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Luke R. Baker, Paul M. White, Gary M. Pierzynski. Changes in microbial properties after manure, lime, and bentonite application to a heavy metal-contaminated mine waste. Applied Soil Ecology, 2011; 48 (1): 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2011.02.007

Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Minimizing mining damage with manure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121026125013.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2012, October 26). Minimizing mining damage with manure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121026125013.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Minimizing mining damage with manure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121026125013.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins