Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 47, Number 3 (May 1994) by Subjects
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Harvest date and fertilizer effects on native and interseeded wetland meadowsStudies of harvest date by fertilizer interactions on hay meadows are rare and none have been published for prairie meadows. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of initial harvest date (15 June, 15 July, and 15 August) and spring-applied N (0, 45, 90, and 135 kg ha-1) on first cutting and regrowth dry matter yield and forage quality from native and interseeded wetland meadow sites. Regrowth was harvested on all plots in late September. 'Garrison' creeping foxtail (Alopecurus arundinaceus Poir.) was interseeded on plots 4 years prior to application of treatments. Native vegetation was dominated by sedges (Carex spp.). Interseeded plots were dominated by Garrison creeping foxtail. Yield and quality on different dates and response to N were similar for vegetation types despite differences in duration of spring flooding between years. Harvest date by fertilizer interactions occurred for first cutting yield and crude protein concentration. Yield response to applied N ranged from 8.5 to 31.2 kg ha-1 kg-1 N. Fertilizer had no effect on digestibility and increased crude protein concentration only in herbage harvested on 15 June. Within levels of N, first cutting yield was about 60% of peak standing crop on 15 June and 90% on 15 July compared with 15 August. Greater plant growth rates and response to N after prolonged spring flooding compensated for initial differences between years by 15 July. Regrowth dry matter yield was not affected by spring-applied N and increased by about 43 kg ha-1 day-1 after initial harvest in both years. Sedge-dominated, prairie meadows are productive and provide predictable forage and wildlife habitat management alternatives.
Potential forage value of some eastern Canadian sedges (Cyperaceae: Carex)The relationship between forage value and various factors, including sectional classification, species, moisture, light, and date and year of collection, was explored with analysis of variance in 317 collections representing 77 species of Carex. Most of the sedges analyzed would exceed the energy required for livestock maintenance. There was great variability within and between species and sections in forage values defined in terms of crude protein, acid-pepsin digestibility, and acid detergent fibre content. Some species, such as C. praegracilis, have crude protein levels of about 15%, acid-pepsin digestibility exceeding 33%, and acid detergent fibre less than 33%, making them equivalent to a good quality grass hay. It was not possible to make generalizations about correlation with light and moisture, but rhizomatous species had higher acid-pepsin digestibility (P < 0.10) and lower acid detergent fibre (P < 0.01) than caespitose species. Forage quality was highest in the beginning of the season. Crude protein decreased 0.04 to 0.09% units/day and acid-pepsin digestibility declined 0.06 to 0.11 units/day. In 2 of the 3 years, acid detergent fibre increased significantly (P < 0.01) over time. The classification system appears to be useful in identifying species and species groups with the greatest forage potential. Some sedge species with relatively low forage value are nevertheless utilized by cattle. Natural habitats and native forages, such as sedges, may be far more valuable than is currently realized, and the trend toward increasingly efficient landscape use will require a better understanding of their value and management.