• Digestive physiology of steers grazing fertilized and non-fertilized blue grama rangeland

      Krysl, L. J.; Galyean, M. L.; Judkins, M. B.; Branine, M. E.; Estell, R. E. (Society for Range Management, 1987-11-01)
      Eight field trials [early August 1983 (EAUG83), late August 1983 (LAUG83), early November 1983 (ENOV83), early January 1984 (EJAN84), May 1984 (MAY84), late July 1984 (LJUL84), late August 1984 (LAUG84), late November 1984 (LNOV84)] were conducted on blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) rangeland in southern rangeland in southern New Mexico to examine relationships among nitrogen (N) fertilization of forage, stage of plant growth, diet botanical and chemical composition, forage intake, digesta kinetics, and ruminal fermentation in beef steers. A fertilized pasture (45 kg N/ha) was evaluated during the year of and year after fertilizer application and compared with an adjacent nonfertilized pasture. Two esophageal- and 4 ruminally cannulated steers/pasture were used in a split-plot design. Dietary organic matter percentage was not affected by fertilization; however, fiber components increased as plants approached dormancy on both fertilized and nonfertilized rangeland. Dietary crude protein levels were numerically higher in the fertilized pasture within all trials. Fertilization had no consistent effect on rate or extent of in vitro organic matter digestibility. Fertilization increased (P<0.05) ruminal ammonia ( NH3) concentrations in all but one trial and levels were adequate for maximal microbial protein synthesis; however in the nonfertilized pasture, ruminal NH3 levels were potentially inadequate during periods of dormancy. Ruminal pH was numerically higher for steers on the fertilized pasture than for those on the unfertilized pasture each sampling trial except LNOV84. Fertilization had little effect (P>0.05) on total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration or molar proportion of individual acids. Total ruminal VFA concentration was highest in steers during periods of active plant growth. Voluntary organic matter intake was usually unaffected (P>0.05) by fertilization except in EJAN 84 when intake was higher (P<0.05) in the fertilized pasture and LNOV84 when intake was higher (P<0.05) for steers grazing the nonfertilized pasture. Organic matter intake by steers averaged 21.8 g/kg body weight (BW) and 21.6 g/kg BW across the 8 trials for fertilized and nonfertilized pastures, respectively. Intake in both pastures declined with advancing season. Particulate passage rate (PPR) was not different between treatments (P>0.05) during ENOV83, MAY84 and LNOV84. However, PPR was faster (P<0.05) for steers grazing the fertilized than in the nonfertilized pasture during the remaining 5 sampling periods. Correspondingly, retention time of digesta in the gastrointestinal tract was reduced for steers grazing the fertilized pasture during these 5 trials. Estimated gastrointestinal fill was unaffected (P>0.05) by treatment except during the EAUG83 and LAUG84 trials when steers grazing fertilized pasture had reduced (P<0.05) fill compared with steers grazing nonfertilized pasture. Fluid passage rate (FPR) did not differ (P>0.05) between treatments for any trials except in LAUG84 when steers in the fertilized pasture had a lower (P<0.05) FPR than steers in the nonfertilized pasture.
    • Drilling versus imprinting for establishing crested wheatgrass in the sagebrush-bunchgrass steppe

      Haferkamp, M. R.; Ganskopp, D. C.; Miller, R. F.; Sneva, F. A. (Society for Range Management, 1987-11-01)
      Effectiveness of a land imprinter and rangeland drill for establishing 'Nordan' crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum) from fall plantings on loose and firm seedbeds was compared in the northern Great Basin in 1982 and 1984. Seedbed treatments applied on a Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata subsp. wyomingensis)-Thurber needlegrass (Stipa thurberiana) habitat type included brushbeating, brushbeating plus disking, and no treatment. Crested wheatgrass seed was planted at 6.7 kg/ha by broadcasting before imprinting broadcasting after imprinting, with a rangeland drill equipped with depth bands and at 3.4 kg/ha with a rangeland drill with deep-furrow openers. Maximum seedling emergence occurred on brushbeat-disked seedbeds planted by broadcasting before imprinting in 1982 (37/m2) and 1984 (22/m2) and by drilling with regular openers in 1982 (23/m2). Seedling emergence was almost twice as good with imprinting compared to drilling on loose-brushbeat-disked seedbeds, but 2 to 4 times more seedlings emerged from drilling than imprinting on firm-unprepared seedbeds. Maximum yields produced 2 and 3 years after planting averaged 500 to 1,000 kg/ha on brushbeat-disked seedbeds planted by broadcasting before imprinting and regular drilling. Imprinting may be a viable alternative to drilling in this region on loose seedbeds.
    • Germination rate at low temperature: rubber rabbitbrush population differences

      McArthur, E. D.; Meyer, S. E.; Weber, D. J. (Society for Range Management, 1987-11-01)
      The concept that low-temperature germination response is a population rather than a species characteristic has implications for range seeding. The success of a seeding could depend on the ability of the seed source to associate the appropriate degree of risk with germination in the cold at a particular site. Germination rate at 3 degrees C was determined for 27 seed collections of rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus [Pall.] Britt) belonging to 9 subspecies and collected in 5 states. Marked differences in low-temperature germination rate were observed. Relative percentage of germination at 14 days varied from 0.4 to 100, while the period required to reach 50% relative germination varied from 5 to 96 days. Germination rate was negatively correlated with a climatic index of winter frost risk to seedlings at the site and seed origin. Warm desert collections germinated fastest, while montane and high latitude collections germinated slowest. Many collections from mid-elevation sites showed the bet-hedging strategy of asynchronous germination in the cold. Germination rate was not correlated with subspecific identity. Subspecies of wide ecological amplitude showed nearly the whole range of germination rate response. The possibility that other important range species might show similar patterns of variation in low-temperature germination response merits investigation.
    • Interplanting crested wheatgrass with shrubs and alfalfa: effects of competition and preferential clipping

      Pendery, B. M.; Provenza, F. D. (Society for Range Management, 1987-11-01)
      Planting palatable shrubs and legumes into an established stand of crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum and A. cristatum) could increase forage yield and nutritional quality. Preferential grazing of the grass and legume in spring may enhance establishment of shrub seedlings. Seedlings of 3 species of shrubs (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana, Kochia prostrata, and Atriplex canescens) were transplanted into plots of crested wheatgrass using a replacement series design. Each species of shrub was grown with the grass, and with the grass and alfalfa (Medicago sativa cv. 'Ladak'); each of the 5 species was also grown in monoculture. Swards were either uncut or the grass and alfalfa were clipped while actively growing in late May and early June. Shrubs had greater current annual growth (CAG) (P is lesser than or equal to 0.001), higher relative yields (P is lesser than or equal to 0.05), lower mortality (P is lesser than or equal to 0.001), and more inflorescences (P≤0.001) in monoculture than in mixture. The grass had greater CAG in mixture than in monoculture (P is lesser than or equal to 0.05), and the grass and alfalfa had greater relative yield in mixture than in monoculture (P is lesser than or equal to 0.05). Clipping crested wheatgrass and alfalfa increased shrub CAG (P is lesser than or equal to 0.01), reduced mortality (P is lesser than or equal to 0.001), and increased the number of inflorescences (P is lesser than or equal to 0.01), but the increase in shrub CAG and flowering due to clipping was not as great as when shrubs were grown in monoculture. There were no interactions between competition and clipping (P>0.05). In terms of CAG, mortality, and flowering, A. tridentata grew better than K. prostrata, which grew better than A. canescens, but these relationships involved complex interactions. The contribution of shrubs to the biomass in mixture was minor; although alfalfa dominated three-way mixture yields, the grass also made a substantial contribution. Since competition was more important in determining shrub response than clipping and the 2 effects were independent, it is probably more important to reduce interspecific competition than to modify grazing practices when planting shrubs in a crested wheatgrass stand.
    • Seasonal dynamics of minerals in forages at the Texas Experimental Ranch

      Greene, L. W.; Pinchak, W. E.; Heitschmidt, R. K. (Society for Range Management, 1987-11-01)
      Range livestock derive the bulk of their dietary mineral intake from forages that are often deficient in one or more essential minerals. The objective of this study was to quantify the seasonal dynamics of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations in the dominant native forages at the Texas Experimental Ranch. Concentrations were estimated by class of tissue (live and dead) for 5 species/species groups: sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula Michx.), Texas wintergrass (Stipa leucotricha Trin. and Rupr.), annual grasses, other warm-season grasses, and forbs. The study spanned a period of 2 years and included 16 sample dates. Although P, Mg, and K concentrations varied significantly among species and date, they varied primarily as a function of class of tissue. Averaged across dates and species, concentrations of P, Mg, and K in live tissue averaged 0.12, 0.13, and 2.02%, respectively, while concentrations in dead tissue averaged 0.04, 0.09, 0.57%, respectively. As a result, seasonal differences in whole plant concentrations of P, Mg, and K were closely linked to seasonal growth dynamics as they affect live/dead ratios. Ca concentrations were affected more by species than class of tissue. Averaged across dates, Ca concentrations in live tissue averaged 0.55, 0.40, 0.42, 0.35, and 1.80% in annual grasses, Texas wintergrass, sideoats grama, other warm-season grasses and forbs, respectively, while concentrations in dead tissue averaged 0.41, 0.40, 0.41, 0.36, and 0.96%, respectively. It is concluded that considerations must be given to the potential effect that a given treatment may have on plant growth dynamics to properly interpret its effect on whole plant concentrations of minerals.
    • Use of new rangeland seedings by black-tailed jackrabbits

      McAdoo, J. K.; Longland, W. S.; Cluff, G. J.; Klebenow, D. A. (Society for Range Management, 1987-11-01)
      Black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) use of 2 new rangeland seedings in northern and central Nevada was determined by fecal pellet counts for the first growing seasons following seeding establishment. Jackrabbit use was an inverse function of seeding size (as indicated by distance from seeding edges to midpoints). Use was uniformly high for a small (50-ha) seeding from its edge to its midpoint. A larger (400-ha) seeding received significantly higher use at the edge than at 100-m intervals extending to the 400-m midpoint. Jackrabbit use of seedings was higher during late summer than during early summer. Jackrabbit abundance was significantly higher in sagebrush habitat adjacent to a new seeding than in similar habitat away from the seeding. Our results suggest that forage availability is a factor influencing use of seedings, and predation risk may also be involved.