• Suppression of annual bromes impacts rangeland: Vegetation responses

      Haferkamp, M. R.; Heitschmidt, R. K.; Grings, E. E.; MacNeil, M. D.; Karl, M. G. (Society for Range Management, 2001-11-01)
      Presence of invading annual bromes (Bromus spp.) can alter seasonal patterns of forage production and quality and require management changes for efficient use of infested rangelands in the Northern Great Plains. We studied biological impacts of the presence of brome by comparing brome infested rangeland to similar sites in which brome had been suppressed with autumn applications of atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N'-(1-methylethyl)- 1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] at 0.56 kg ha(-1) in 1992 and 1993. Each treatment was randomly assigned to three, 12-ha pastures. Vegetation was measured for 5 months (May to September) each year from 1993 to 1995. Each pasture was stocked with 8 cross-bred steers (Bos taurus) from mid-May to mid-September 1993 and 1995 and to mid-August 1994. The forage base varied temporally by date and year, but generally was not less than 800 kg ha(-1). Brome suppression increased (P less than or equal to 0.05) crude protein concentration for western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii Rydb. [Love]) in July (7.1 vs. 9.1%) and August (6.0 vs. 7.1%). With the variation in annual brome stands among years, as influenced by growing conditions, this experiment demonstrated that improvement in forage nutritional quality can be expected from suppression of annual bromes on semiarid rangelands.