The University of Arizona

Forage production of reclaimed mined lands as influenced by nitrogen fertilization and mulching practice.

G.E. Schuman, E.M. Taylor, F. Rauzi

Abstract


Fertilizer nitrogen (N) management and other cultural practices used in reclamation can have a significant effect on the successful revegetation of mined lands. Repeated fertilization of revegetated lands creates management and economic concerns. Nitrogen fertilizer was broadcast at 67 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) for 4 years and at 268 ha(-1) for 1 year on revegetated mined land to evaluate N management effects on forage production. Seeded grass production over 5 years did not exhibit consistent increases for the single N fertilizer application compared to the 4 annual applications. Although the single, higher N fertilization treatment only produced significantly greater forage in 3 instances compared to the lower annual fertilization treatment, it would result in a significant savings in application costs. Seeded grass production was higher and annual forb production lower when established using a standing grain stubble mulch compared to a crimped straw mulch. A single, higher application rate of nitrogen and a stubble mulch are recommended because of their production, management, and economic benefits.

Keywords


annual dressings;split dressings;crimped straw mulches;stubble mulching;ammonium nitrate;straw mulches;mined soils;reclamation;Poaceae;biomass production;Wyoming;land restoration;application rate;grasses;forage

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