Title: Livestock water quality in spring of 2009 to 2012 varies across years in Eastern Montana Authors
Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 14, 2012
Publication Date: February 3, 2013
Citation: Petersen, M.K., Muscha, J.M., Mulliniks, J.T. 2013. Livestock water quality in spring of 2009 to 2012 varies across years in Eastern Montana. Society for Range Management Meeting, Oklahoma, OK. February 3-7, 2013. Abstract #0117. Technical Abstract: Mineral content of livestock water grazing rangelands can be a source of minerals affecting health and drinkability. To estimate yearly variation in water mineral concentrations, 9 indicators of quality were measured at 45 livestock water sites in May 2009 through 2012 at the USDA-ARS Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory. Water was sampled from 4 sources: springs, reservoirs, ground water, and flowing surface water The sampled area was classified into 3 geographical locations: north (N), southeast (SE) and southwest (SW). Location, source, year (characterized from the cumulative precipitation from January to sampling date) and their interactions were analyzed as a 3 × 4 x 4 factorial arrangement of treatments. Three way interactions were considered biologically unimportant so location by year and source by year interactions were reported. A location by year interaction (P < 0.05) was found for Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn, Na, SO4, and TDS. Calcium (136 ± 18 mg/kg), Fe (198 ± 25 mg/kg), Mg (94 ± 11 mg/kg), and Mn (2.5 ± 0.4 mg/kg) had the greatest concentrations in 2012 in SW location. A source by year interaction (P < 0.05) was found for Fe, Fl, Mg, and Mn. Iron (265 ± 41 mg/kg), Mg (118 ± 18 mg/kg), and Mn (3.4 ± 0.6 mg/kg) had the greatest concentrations in flowing surface water in 2012. Lower precipitation in 2012 was associated with elevated mineral concentrations in the SW location and flowing surface water. Years with below average precipitation may influence water quality by increasing mineral concentrations.