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ARS Home » Plains Area » Miles City, Montana » Livestock and Range Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #244900

Title: Mineral concentration of livestock water varies from surface to ground sources in Eastern Montana

item Muscha, Jennifer - Boyle
item MULLINIKS, J - New Mexico State University
item Petersen, Mark

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2010
Publication Date: 2/12/2010
Citation: Muscha, J.M., Mulliniks, J.T., Petersen, M.K. 2010. Mineral concentration of livestock water varies from surface to ground sources in Eastern Montana. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts PA-54. (online only)

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: Mineral content of water drank by livestock grazing native rangelands can be an important source of minerals affecting health and drinkability. To estimate water intake contribution, fifteen indicators of water quality were measured at 98 livestock water sites in May 2009 at the 22,257 ha USDA-ARS Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory. Water sampled was from four sources: springs, ground water, reservoirs, and flowing surface water The sampled area was classified into 3 geographical locations: north (N), southeast (SE) and southwest (SW). Location, source and the location by source interactions were evaluated and analyzed as a 3 × 4 factorial arrangement of treatments. A location by source interaction (P<.05) was found for Na, Mg, SO*4, and TDS. Of the electrolytes, Mg, Ca, and Cl were found to be within a safe range. Sodium was higher (P<.05) in ground water (417±17ppm) and above the desirable upper limit. Other analysis’s included pH, NO*3-N, SO*4, Fe, and Mn. Manganese, SO4, pH and NO3-N were below the safe upper limit. At three sources, Fe was above the safe upper limit (0.3 ppm) and was highest (P<.05) in reservoirs (10.5±2.5ppm) and lowest in springs (<.3±4.6ppm). Higher Fe is associated with reduced palatability. Highest (P<.05) SO*4 was found in the SE and SW (>225±56ppm). Concentrations (i.e. Fe) attributed to source of water within specific locations needs further investigations to assess animal impact. Overall, average water mineral content in May at Fort Keogh LARRL was found to be within safe limits for most minerals.