• Cattle preference for 4 wheatgrass taxa

      Jones, T. A.; Ralphs, M. H.; Nielson, D. C. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      We compared the preference of cattle for 12 entries, 2 of crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fischer ex Link) Schultes], 5 of thickspike wheatgrass [Elymus lanceolatus (Scribner & J.G. Smith) Gould ssp. lanceolatus], 3 of Snake River wheatgrass (proposed name E. lanceolatus spp. wawawaiensis), and 2 of bluebunch wheatgrass [Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) A. Love] in May 1989 and 1990 at Logan, Utah. Spaced plants were randomly arranged in 4 paddocks which were grazed once by 2 animals in late spring each year. Number of bites and number of visits were recorded for each entry in each paddock for the 2 animals individually. Cattle preferred Hycrest and Nordan crested wheatgrasses both years. Number of bites per plant for crested, thickspike, Snake River, and bluebunch wheatgrasses averaged 9.1, 4.3, 3.1, and 4.1, respectively, in 1989 and 6.7, 3.3, 3.5, and 3.6, respectively, in 1990. Number of visits was highly correlated with number of bites across entries. Grazing preference among entries was more highly correlated with biomass score and canopy height than basal area or maturity. Cattle preferred crested wheatgrass over the native wheatgrasses tested here during the spring grazing season.
    • Germination rate and emergence success in bluebunch wheatgrass

      Kitchen, S. G.; Monsen, S. B. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Development of plant materials adapted to the demands of a harsh environment and conditions created by standard planting practices has resulted in improved seedling establishment for some species. Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata [Pursh] Love) is an important native bunchgrass often planted in the Intermountain and Pacific Northwest regions. Though cultivars have been developed, this species continues to have a reputation for weak seedlings. Forty-seven accessions of bluebunch wheatgrass collected from naturally occurring populations in 9 geographic regions and the cultivar 'Goldar' were evaluated for germination rate, seedling emergence and growth, and seed weight. Significant differences in seed weight and germination rate at optimum (15/25 degrees C) and cold (1 degree C) temperatures were observed. Seedling emergence from a 4-cm depth ranged from 5 to 66%. Mean dry shoot weight 28 days after planting varied among accessions by a factor of 6. Simple correlations between seed weight and percentage emergence (r = 0.62) and seed weight and mean shoot weight (r = 0.63) indicate seed weight could be used as a preliminary screening test for these traits. Seed weight was not useful in predicting germination rate. Results suggest establishment success may be improved through careful selection for traits associated with seedling vigor.