• A versatile data logging program in BASIC for the Laptop computer

      Graff, Paul S.; Hipp, Billy W. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Recording and management of field or laboratory data can be aided through use of a data logging computer. Data are electronically transferred from the data logger to a larger computer for statistical analysis, eliminating re-entry from field sheets and reducing the potential for error. Laptop computers offer advantages over specialized data loggers, but require a software program to function efficiently as a data logger. Range research uses might include recording plant sample weights, recording livestock weights and condition scores, plant growth measurements, and frequency counts. A flexible data entry program accommodating several experimental designs was written in BASIC for creating analysis-ready data files, using either keyboard or RS-232 data input.
    • Accumulation of nitrate by annual goldeneye and showy goldeneye

      Williams, M. Coburn (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Annual goldeneye [Viguiera annua (M.E. Jones) Blake] and showy goldeneye [Viguiera multiflora (Nutt.) Blake], grown in the greenhouse and from the field, were analyzed for cyanide, soluble oxalates, alkaloids, nitro compounds, and nitrate. Both species were investigated for their ability to accumulate toxic levels of nitrate when grown in nutrient solution, or in soils fertilized with ammonium nitrate. Both species tested negative for cyanide, soluble oxalates, nitro compounds, and alkaloids. The plants accumulated toxic levels of nitrate, calculated as KNO3, when grown in nutrient solutions (4 to 5%), greenhouse soil fertilized with ammonium nitrate at 220 kg N/ha (3 to 4%), or from plots fertilized with ammonium nitrate in the field at 66 to 220 kg N/ha (2 to 3%). Annual goldeneye collected near a water tank and salt lick on a New Mexico ranch contained 4.7% nitrate but plants collected at other sites contained only 0.05 to 0.7% nitrate. Goldeneye in the field may accumulate toxic levels of nitrate if rooted on soils heavily contaminated by animal excreta around water tanks, ponds, salt licks, and along frequently used trails. Livestock losses from goldeneye can be reduced or prevented by avoiding the plants and by treating affected animals with methylene blue.
    • Animal performance and plant production from continuously grazed cool-season reclaimed and native pastures

      Hofmann, L.; Ries, R. E. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 requires that surface-mined land be revegetated with "the same seasonal variety", meaning species of the same season of growth as the species native to the area. Our objective was to compare season-of-grazing use of pastures comprised of introduced cool-season species with pastures comprised of a mix of native warm- and cool-season species. The study was conducted on surface-mined land near Center, North Dakota, dominated by smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and on adjacent unmined mixed prairie. Pastures were 1.86 ha in size and stocked with 2 yearling steers (Bos spp.) each. Grazing was started in May or June and ended in late September or early October for 96 days in 1982 and 126 days each in 1983, 1984, and 1985. Liveweight gain increased from mid June through August and then remained constant on all pastures. Herbage dry matter yield from reclaimed pastures was equal to or greater than yield from native pastures each year. The season-of-grazing use was no different for reclaimed cool-season pastures than for native mixed prairie, and there was no evidence that species with the same growing season as those native to the area were necessary to provide season-long grazing use. Cool-season forage species are easier to seed, establish, and less expensive to buy and can be used to revegetate surface-mined land for season-long grazing use.
    • Beef production from native and seeded Northern Great Plains ranges

      Adams, Don C.; Staigmiller, Robert B.; Knapp, Bradford W. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Multiparous crossbred cows (N=355) were studied over 4 years to evaluate effects of native range (NR) and seeded range on cow reproduction and performance during prebreeding from parturition to the start of breeding and during a 45-day breeding period. Treatments for prebreeding were: (1) NR and (2) crested wheatgrass (CW; Agropyron desertorum Fisch. ex [Link] Schult.) and during breeding: (1) NR, (2) Russian wildrye (RWR; Psathrostachys juncea [Fisch.] Nevski) and (3) contour furrowed NR (CF) interseeded with 'Ladak' alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L.). After breeding (postbreeding), all cows grazed NR to weaning in 3 of the 4 years. In year 4, calves were weaned at the end of breeding because of severe drought. Treatments and years were arranged as a factorial. Cow reproduction was evaluated by date of calving, the number of cows in estrus at least once before the beginning of breeding, and fall pregnancy rate. Prebreeding, breeding, and year effects as well as all interactions were nonsignificant (P>0.05) for all reproductive traits. Milk production and milk composition were not affected by prebreeding or breeding treatments. Differences in cow and calf weight gains occurred between prebreeding treatments and generally favored CW. Small differences also occurred in cow weight gains between breeding treatments. All cows gained weight and body condition during prebreeding and breeding and then lost weight and condition postbreeding. Breeding treatment effects on calf gains were small. We concluded that the primary benefits of seeded ranges in the Northern Great Plains are comparable to those documented for increased stocking rate and improved forage management. Seeded ranges did not improve individual animal performance.
    • Copper deficiency in tule elk at Point Reyes, California

      Gogan, Peter P.; Jessup, David A.; Akenson, Mark (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) reintroduced to Point Reyes, Calif., in 1978 exhibited gross signs of copper deficiency by June 1979. Copper levels in liver (mean = 5.9 ppm) and serum (0.42 ppm) of elk at Point Reyes were below levels in adult tule elk from other locations in California (liver, mean greater than or equal to 80 ppm; serum, mean greater than or equal to 1.4 ppm). These levels were consistent with documented copper deficiency in wild and domestic ruminants. Copper serum levels increased in response to copper enriched dietary supplements and declined after the elk stopped eating the supplements. Analysis of plant and soil samples showed both are deficient in copper and normal in molybdenum and sulfur-sulfates. Deficiency in plants and soils at Point Reyes are probably due to low copper levels in the underlying granitic parent material.
    • Effects of 2,4-D and atrazine on degraded Oklahoma grasslands

      Rick, C. K.; Stritzke, J. F. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Three field studies were conducted for 2 years on degraded grasslands to compare the effects of 2,4-D [(2,4-dichlorophenoxy) acetic acid] and atrazine [2-chloro-4-(ethylamino)-6-(isopropylamino)-s-triazine] on weedy forbs and grass production. Atrazine was applied at 1.12 and 2.24 kg/ha in April and 2,4-D was applied at 0.56 and 1.12 kg/ha in May. One-half of all main plots were retreated the second year to compare 1 and 2 years of herbicide treatments. Major weedy forbs were heath aster (Aster ericoides L.), western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya D.C.), and lanceleaf ragweed (Ambrosia bidentata Michx.). Both density and standing crop of these major forb species were significantly reduced by the first year herbicide treatments. Atrazine was more effective on western ragweed and 2,4-D was more effective on heath aster and lanceleaf ragweed. Respraying with herbicides the second year did reduce forb density in a couple of instances, but had little effect on forb and grass standing crop. Grass standing crop in both years was similar after treatment with atrazine and 2,4-D. Herbicides increased grass standing crop by about 73% (1,070 kg/ha) the first year and by an average of about 68% (1,320 kg/ha) the second year.
    • Effects of nitrogen fertilization on spotted knapweed and competing vegetation in western Montana

      Story, Jim M.; Boggs, Keith W.; Graham, Donald R. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      The effects of N fertilization on spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa Lamarck) and competing vegetation were studied at 2 sites in western Montana during 1981 through 1984. The N was applied 1 time at each site at rates of 56, 112, 224, and 448 kg/ha. Spotted knapweed biomass showed a significant, positive yield response to N at all rates at both sites during the year of application. The only response by spotted knapweed to N in succeeding years was in the second year at Site 1 where a significant response was detected at the 448 kg N/ha rate. Competing vegetation at Site 1 (primarily quackgrass, Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv.) in the first year showed a significant, positive response to N, while competing vegetation at Site 2 (primarily crested wheatgrass, Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn.) did not respond to N in the first year. No response by competing vegetation to N in succeeding years at either site was detected. There was a significant relationship between percent knapweed and N rate at both sites in the year of N application, but not in succeeding years. These results suggest that N fertilization, by itself, as a cultural control approach to knapweed may be impractical, and could contribute toward the increase of knapweed when used in some of the plant communities normally associated with spotted knapweed on rangeland in western Montana.
    • Evaluation of pinyon sapwood to phytomass relationships over different site conditions

      Tausch, Robin J.; Tueller, Paul T. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Detailed studies of competitive interactions in the pinyon/juniper (Pinus monophylla Torr. & Frem., Juniperus osteosperma (Torr.) (Little) ecosystem require accurate estimates of biomass from physical measurements of the plant species involved. Relationships between green leaf biomass (phytomass) and trunk sapwood area were evaluated on 6 plots on a western Nevada mountain range. Four of the plots covered a range of environmental conditions from the lower to the upper edge of the woodland belt in 100-m elevation increments. The remaining 2 covered canyon and mountain top environments. The sapwood area to phytomass relationship was first individually analyzed for each of the 6 plots and the results compared. The ratio for grams of phytomass per cm2 of sapwood area for the tree in each plot with the highest value ranged from 1.5 to over 2 times the tree with the lowest value. The highest average plot ratio was only 10% greater than the lowest average plot ratio. Individual regression slopes for the 6 plots did not significantly differ and the data were combined for the remaining analyses. The regression relationship for trees with less than 40-cm2 sapwood area differed from the overall relationship. The slope values for the sapwood area to foliage biomass relationship for the western Nevada data averaged about 2/3 the slope values for a data set from a mountain range in southwestern Utah. These differences were significant between a subset of young trees from each site with up to 40-cm2 sapwood area (P less than or equal to 0.01) and for an analysis between all the sampled trees from each site (P less than or equal to 0.10).
    • Herbage yield response to the maturation of a slash pine plantation

      Lewis, Clifford E. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Herbage yields in a newly planted slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) Plantation were measured annually for 26 years. Total herbage yield initially increased in response to removal of the previous forest canopy. Thereafter, yield decreased steadily as the canopy of the developing pine plantation closed until it leveled off at about age 20. The maxima function described trends in yield for most species and groups of species. Accurate herbage yield estimates over time allow managers of forested rangeland to plan cattle stocking rates or arrange for alternative sources of forage.
    • Influence of mycorrhizal fungi and fertilization on big bluestem seedling biomass

      Hetrick, B. D.; Wilson, G. T.; Owensby, C. E. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      The relationship between fertilization of prairie soils and mycorrhizal symbiosis in big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vit.) was explored. In 10 steamed prairie soils of varied P level, inoculation with a mycorrhizal fungus resulted in a 7- to 70-fold increase in big bluestem seedling biomass, compared to noninoculated controls. Fertilization with N and K (25-0-25) significantly increased biomass of mycorrhizal seedlings but did not alter growth of nonmycorrhizal seedlings. In a second experiment which assessed the impact of N and P on seedling growth, in both steamed and nonsterile soil, P fertilization did not significantly increase plant biomass, while N fertilization did substantially increase biomass of mycorrhizal, but not nonmycorrhizal plants. Fertilization with N and P together produced the greatest biomass in both mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal plants. Apparently, in the range soils tested N is the most limiting nutrient, despite the low P availability exhibited by these soils. In the absence of mycorrhizae, however, P is most limiting and no response to N is observed unless sufficient P is also applied. These studies confirm an extremely important role for mycorrhizal fungi on big bluestem seedling growth.
    • Influence of native shrubs on nutritional status of goats: nitrogen retention

      Nunez-Hernandez, Gregorio; Holecheck, Jerry L.; Wallace, Joe D.; Galyean, Michael L.; Tembo, Ackim; Valdez, Raul; Cardenas, Manuel (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      In vivo digestibility trials were conducted to evaluate the influence of shrubs containing low and high levels of soluble phenolic/-tannins on digestibility and nitrogen retention by Angora goats. Each of 6 shrubs and alfalfa hay (Medicago sativa L.) were fed to goats at 30% (dry matter basis) of the diet in a barley straw-prairie hay mixture. The mixture was regulated so that all diets contained about 8% crude protein. High soluble phenolic shrubs used included big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. tridentata), gray oak (Quercus grisea Liebm.), true mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus Raf.), and one-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma [Engelm.] Sarg). Low-soluble phenolic species included common winterfat (Ceratoides lanata [Pursh.], J.T. Howell), fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens [Pursh.], Nutt.), and alfalfa. Nitrogen digestibilities of winterfat, gray oak, mountain mahogany and one-seed juniper diets were less (P<.05) than the alfalfa controls, but big sagebrush did not differ (P>.05) compared with the alfalfa control. Retained nitrogen (g/d) differed (P<.05) only among alfalfa, juniper, and mountain mahogany diets. Goats fed juniper had greater (P<0.05) retained nitrogen than the alfalfa control. Shrubs high in soluble phenolics, with the exception of big sagebrush, had elevated fecal nitrogen losses, but reduced urinary nitrogen losses compared with the alfalfa control. Forage organic matter intake (% body weight) and nitrogen intake (g/d) were correlated more highly with nitrogen retention than dietary crude protein (%) or digestible protein (%). Present data indicate that protein found in palatable native shrubs is assimilated with similar efficiency to that in alfalfa hay if these shrubs are consumed at moderate levels.
    • Quality and botanical composition of cattle diets under rotational and continuous grazing treatments

      Walker, John W.; Heitschmidt, Rodney K.; D, Elino A.; Kothmann, Merwyn M.; Dowhower, Steve L. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Proponents of rotational grazing claim that individual animal performance in a properly managed rotational grazing (RG) treatment will be equal to or greater than that in other, less intensively managed treatments even when rate of stocking in the RG treatment is much greater. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of a heavily stocked RG treatment, at 2 stock densities, on quality and botanical composition of cattle diets. The control treatment was a moderately stocked, continuously grazed pasture. Diets were collected from all treatments on 8 dates over a 22-month period using esophageally fistulated steers. Only minor differences occurred among treatments in dietary crude protein (CP), organic matter digestibility (OMD), and botanical composition. Diet quality and species composition of diets were closely correlated with quality and availability of live herbage, which varied more among trials than among treatments. Quality and composition of diets collected during the first and last day of grazing in the RG paddocks were not different. These data support the hypothesis that installing rotational grazing at a high stocking rate does not lower diet quality and would not be expected to be a factor affecting individual animal performance.
    • Relationship among grazing management, growing degree-days, and morphological development for native grasses on the Northern Great Plains

      Frank, A. B.; Hofmann, L. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Air temperature or growing degree-days (GDD) are known to influence morphological development of grass, but the effects of grazing history on grass morphological development has not been established. Morphological development of 5 species located on moderately and heavily grazed mixed prairie sites near Mandan, North Dakota, was determined 3 times per week from beginning of growth in spring to heading. The species were western wheatgrass [Pascopyrum smithii Rydb. (Löve)], blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. ex Griffiths], needleandthread (Stipa comata Trin. and Rupr.), green needlegrass (S. viridula Trin.), and prairie junegrass [Koeleria pyramidata (Lam.) Beauv.]. Regression analysis of growth stage with GDD was linear and statistically significant for prairie junegrass (R2=0.62), green needlegrass (R2=0.96), and needleandthread (R2=0.95), and nonlinear for blue grama (R2=0.95) and western wheatgrass (R2=0.97). Prior grazing management had little effect on this relationship. The number of leaves and accumulated GDD required to produce those leaves varied by each species: prairie junegrass (4 leaves, 520 GDD), needleandthread (4 leaves, 640 GDD), green needlegrass (4 leaves, 800 GDD), blue grama (5 leaves, 1,300 GDD), and western wheatgrass (6 leaves, 1,450 GDD). Based on the species and conditions of this study, plant growth stage can be predicted from accumulated GDD and used for predicting grazing readiness and in development of forage growth models.
    • Seedbed ecology of winterfat: cations in diaspore bracts in their effect on germination and early plant growth

      Booth, Terrance D. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      The concentrations of Ca++, Mg++, K+, and Na+ in seeds and bracts of winterfat [Eurotia lanata (Pursh) Moq.] diaspores were studied using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The concentration of Ca++ in the bracts was about 9 times that of seed concentrations. Bract and seed concentrations for the other cations were more equal. All cation concentrations were highly variable. Analyses of seed for cation concentrations before and after diaspore imbibition, and after seed imbibition in prepared cation solutions, revealed significant imbibitional increases in seed-cation concentrations. Increases in seed Ca++ or Na+ improved moisture absorption and germination by the seed, and hypocotyl elongation in the seedling. It is concluded that diaspore bracts are a source of nutrients for the winterfat seed and that these inorganic nutrients are a positive factor in plant establishment.
    • Seedbed effects on grass establishment on abandoned Nebraska Sandhills cropland

      King, Milton A.; Waller, Seven S.; Moser, Lowell E.; Stubbendieck, James L. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Perennial grass establishment on abandoned cropland in the Nebraska Sandhills is difficult due to low soil fertility, organic matter, and water holding capacity and high potential erodibility. Establishment is further complicated by unpredictable precipitation and weed competition. Two warm-season grasses: sand bluestem [Andropogon gerardii var. paucipilus (Nash) Fern.] and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.); and 2 cool-season grasses: smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.) and intermediate wheatgrass [Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkw. & D.R. Dewey subsp. intermedium] were evaluated with spring-seeded field trials. Seedbed preparation [untilled, disced, and dead oat (Avena sativa L.) cover (DOC)] effect on seeded grass and nonseeded species densities was evaluated in 1985 and 1986 at 2 locations on Valentine sands (Aquic Ustipsamment). In 1985 1 site was irrigated. Both sites were dryland in 1986. Stand failure (< 5 seedlings/m2) occurred on the dryland site in 1985 due to low, erratic precipitation. Stands evaluated in June 1986 on plots established with irrigation in 1985 had 38, 46, and 61 plants/m2 for the untilled, disced, and DOC seedbeds, respectively. The disced or DOC seedbeds were required for successful (>10 plants/m2) dryland seedings in 1986 at both locations. Irrigation the establishment year minimized risk of stand failure and allowed the use of any seedbed preparation or grass species studied. Sand bluestem was the only species to establish both years. However, if a dryland seeding of a cool-season species is desired, intermediate wheatgrass appeared more adapted than smooth brome.
    • Self-compatibility in 'Paloma' Indian ricegrass

      Jones, T. A.; Nielson, D. C. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      A species' mode of reproduction must be understood before initiating a breeding program. Indian ricegrass [Oryzopsis hymenoides (Roem. & Schult.) Ricker] flowers may be effectively cleistogamous or chasmogamous, but the floral structures are most consistent with self-pollination than cross-pollination. Results of a field study comparing seed production of isolated and open-pollinated 'Paloma' panicles indicate that self-incompatibility is not important. These observations suggest Indian ricegrass is primarily self-pollinated. Because Indian ricegrass has diffuse panicles and small flowers, it is difficult to make large numbers of controlled crosses. Only one seed is produced per emasculation. Furthermore, any hybrid seed produced will be difficult to germinate because of persistent seed dormancy in this species. Thus, plant breeding methods traditionally used for self-pollinated crops, which rely on artificial hybridization, would be inappropriate at this time. Collecting and evaluating native accessions should be a more effective initial strategy.
    • Technical Note: Evaluating revegetation practices for sandy cropland in the Nebraska sandhills

      Oldfather, S.; Stubbendieck, J.; Waller, S. S. S. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Supplemental irrigation generally increased seedling density the seeding year; however, this response was not maintained the year following seeding. Above-average precipitation minimized the importance of irrigation the seeding year. Seeding mixture appeared important with a 6- and 4-species mixture providing better establishment than a 2-species mixture. This was apparently due to the relatively large proportion of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) in the 2-species mixture and its generally poor establishment. The reduced seeding rate resulted in better stand establishment than the recommended rate on a tilled seedbed (1.1 and 0.7 seedlings/0.1 m2, respectively), while neither seeding rate provided an acceptable stand (>0.5 seedlings/0.1 m2) with the no-till treatment in small plot evaluations. Seedbed tillage also resulted in a higher seedling density than no-tillage (1.3 and 0.5 seedlings/0.1 m2, respectively) for the production-level field trial. Seedling density was doubled with depth bands (1.2 vs. 0.6 seedlings/0.1 m2). These results suggested that a tilled seedbed on sandy cropland with adequate moisture results in successful stands. A native, warm-season grass mixture (4 or more species) is recommended with a seeding rate of 15 PLS/0.1 m2 using equipment with depth bands.
    • Understory-overstory relationships in ponderosa pine forests, Black Hills, South Dakota

      Uresk, Daniel W.; Severson, Kieth E. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      Understory-overstory relationships were examined over 7 different growing stock levels (GSLs) of 2 size classes (saplings, 8-10 cm d.b.h. and poles, 15-18 cm d.b.h.) of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Generally, production of graminoids, forbs, and shrubs was similar between sapling and pole stands. Trends among GSLs were also similar between these tree size classes. Graminoids and forbs were most abundant in clearcuts and the 5 m2/ha basal area. Intermediate amounts were produced at GSLs of 14-23 m2/ha and lowest in unthinned stands which had basal areas ranging from 27-33 m2/ha and 37-40 m2/ha in sapling and pole stands, respectively. Total understory production followed the same trends. Shrubs, however, appeared to produce most at intermediate stocking levels but were variable. Graminoid and forb production were best estimated by the model logY=a+bX. Relationships for total production were better described by Y=a+bX. However, variability of shrub production precluded selection of a single model; the best model varied between tree size classes. Standard errors of the estimate indicate that reasonably good predictive models can be developed for pole and sapling stands considered separately or combined. When years were combined, however, SEs increased markedly, indicating less reliable models.
    • Vegetation and soil responses to short-duration grazing on fescue grasslands

      Dormaar, Johan F.; Smoliak, Sylvester; Willms, Walter D. (Society for Range Management, 1989-05-01)
      The effects of animal impact on soil chemical and physical properties as well as range condition were measured over a 5-year period to test the hypothesis that animal impact can improve the nutrient and water status of the soil and promote grassland succession. A seventeen-pasture short-duration grazing system was established in 1981 on 972 ha. The pastures were stocked on average with 278 cows with calves from 1982 to 1986, which was about twice to triple the recommended rate of 0.8 AUM/ha. Increased grazing pressure reduced range condition as reflected by a loss of desirable species such as rough fescue (Festuca scabrella Torr.). Soil moisture was always higher in soils of ungrazed exclosures. Soil bulk density increased while hydraulic conductivity decreased with grazing. Litter was not significantly incorporated into the soil with hoof action. Chitin-N, as a measure of fungal biomass, decreased significantly under the increased grazing pressure. The hypothesis that animal impact would improve range condition was rejected since impact, in the manner applied during the study, resulted in retrogression of the grasslands.