• Fourwing Saltbush Seed Yield and Quality: Irrigation, Fertilization, and Ecotype Effects

      Petersen, Joseph L.; Ueckert, Darrell N. (Society for Range Management, 2005-05-01)
      Clones of superior pollen- and seed-producing plants of 4 fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens [Pursh] Nutt.) ecotypes were planted in a seed orchard in west-central Texas to determine if seed production and quality could be enhanced by irrigation and fertilization. Subplots of nitrogen (N) at 112 kg ha-1, phosphorous (P) at 112 kg ha-1, N + P at 112 + 112 kg ha-1, or no fertilizer were superimposed on irrigated or dryland main-plots. Neither irrigation nor fertilization affected estimated seed yields or utricle fill during the third growing season after planting. Fertilization did not affect seed germination of any of the saltbush ecotypes on irrigated plots or that of the 2 more xeric ecotypes (Grandfalls and Valentine) on dryland plots. Fertilizer N on dryland plots increased germination of the San Angelo ecotype, and N + P increased germination of the Texon ecotype. Estimated gross value of the first seed crop was about 4648~ha-1 even though the superior reproductive traits of parental pistillate plants were poorly expressed by the clones. Fertilization did not affect estimated seed yields in irrigated plots, but N and N + P increased seed yields in dryland plots in the fourth growing season. Fertilization effects on seed weights varied among irrigated and dryland plots and among saltbush ecotypes. Mortality of the shrubs during the period extending from 1988 to 1990 was not affected by irrigation or fertilization but increased among ecotypes as the xeric nature of their sites of origin increased and as the distance of their sites of origin from the seed orchard increased. Evidence from this study did not strongly support cloning, irrigation, or fertilization for improving seed harvests of fourwing saltbush in west-central Texas.  
    • The Brush Busters Success Story

      McGinty, Allan; Ueckert, Darrell N. (Society for Range Management, 2001-12-01)
    • The Use of Brush Management Methods: A Texas Landowner Survey

      Kreuter, Urs P.; Amestoy, Heidi E.; Kothmann, Mort M.; Ueckert, Darrell N.; McGinty, W. Allan; Cummings, Scott R. (Society for Range Management, 2005-05-01)
      Adoption of effective brush management methods is critical to achieving many rangeland management objectives. However, landowners have often been reluctant to adopt new practices. In April 2000, a questionnaire was mailed to the 1058 landowners in 48 Texas counties to identify factors that influence land management decisions, especially with respect to brush management practices, including Brush Busters treatments. Brush Busters is a Texas-based program developed to expedite the adoption of ‘‘select’’ individual plant treatments through the use of environmentally safe methods. Overall, landowners were ‘‘neutral’’ to ‘‘dissatisfied’’ with regard to the amount of brush on their land. Two primary reasons for wanting to decrease brush were to increase forage production and to conserve water. Kind of brush and cost of brush control were important factors determining the preferred treatment type. In general, the most effective methods were considered to be mechanical treatments for juniper (Juniperus ashei) and individual plant herbicide treatments for mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and prickly pear (Opuntiaspp.). Mechanical treatments and aerial herbicide applications were perceived to be the most expensive methods, followed by individual plant herbicide treatments, and fire was considered to be the least expensive method. Our study indicated that landowners’ satisfaction with Brush Busters’ select methods will likely result in an increase in the use of individual plant herbicide treatments for controlling brush. Our study emphasized that a key for enhancing the adoption of sound rangeland management practices is the development and effective dissemination of user-friendly information about low-cost techniques that produce quick results. Easily visible demonstration sites and the establishment of cooperative groups could accelerate the adoption of such practices.