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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mineral Concentrations in Soil Extracts, Forages, and Blood Sera of Cattle Grazing on Reclaimed Uranium-Mined Land in Southeastern Wyoming

item Mayland, Henry
item Schuman, Gerald
item Booth, D

Submitted to: Billings Reclamation Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2006
Publication Date: June 4, 2006
Citation: Mayland, H.F., Schuman, G.E., Booth, D.T., Waggoner, J.W. 2006. Mineral concentrations in soil extracts, forages, and blood sera of cattle grazing on reclaimed uranium-mined land in southeastern Wyoming. In: Proceedings of the 10th Billings Land Reclamation Symposium, June 4-8, 2006, Billings, Montana. 2006 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Mineral absorption by cattle grazing a reclaimed and revegetated uranium mine, located in southeastern Wyoming, was evaluated over three grazing seasons. The following elements were quantified in the blood sera: P, K, Ca, Mg, Al, Fe, Na, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, Pb, Ni, Cr, and Cd. Concentrations of B, Ca, Cu, Mg, and Na were lower than expected. Sera Cr values were high but indicative of the North Platte River Drainage. Researchers anticipate that cattle production would not be negatively affected when grazing this area nor would consumption of beef produced in this area cause any health concerns when considering the mineral elements quantified in this study.

Technical Abstract: The Pathfinder Uranium Mine which is located in southeastern Wyoming, was actively mined during the 1960's-1980's. Reclamation involved returning the spoil/overburden and replacing the salvaged topsoil. The area was revegetated in 1974-1977, but was not grazed until 1980-85. A grazing experiment was then conducted to determine solubility of mineral elements in soil, uptake by plants and absorption by grazing animals. Blood sera were collected at 28-30 day intervals during the three grazing/growing seasons in 1980-1982. Blood sera samples were frozen and later analyzed by ICP. When compared to published data, plants on the reclaimed site contained lower concentrations of Ca, Mg, Mn, P, and Zn; but higher concentrations of Cd, Cr and Ni than plants on adjacent undisturbed sites. When compared to expected blood sera data, animals grazing on the reclaimed site had lower concentrations of B, Ca, Cu, Mg, and Na; but higher concentrations of Cr and Fe than would be expected for most grazing animals. Livestock producers are advised to provide supplements of Ca, Mg, Mn, P, and Zn to minimize deficiency of these elements in livestock nutrition when grazing these reclaimed lands.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015
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