• Effects of Tillage and Manure on Emergence and Establishment of Russian Wildrye in a Saltgrass Meadow

      Meuller, D. M.; Bowman, R. A.; McGinnies, W. J. (Society for Range Management, 1985-11-01)
      Saltgrass [Distichlis stricta (Torr.) Rydb.] meadows are found in lowland areas throughout the western United States. Saltgrass meadows are frequently more moist than upland sites and have good production potential if relatively unpalatable saltgrass is replaced by a more palatable species. The electrical conductivity and sodium absorption ratio of saltgrass meadow soils often increase with soil profile depth, while total N and sodium-bicarbonate extractable P decrease. Cultural practices that do not mix the deeper, more saline horizons with the surface should increase seedling germination and establishment. Field studies evaluated the effects of chisel plowing followed by vertical-axis tilling, conventional tilling (moldboard-plowing and discing), and manure (0, 11, 22, 45, and 90 Mg/ha) on soil physical and chemical characteristics as they relate to germination and establishment of Russian wildrye [Elymus junceus Fisch.]. Chisel plowing followed by vertical-axis tilling increased seedling emergence by 23% over conventional tillage. Manure increased seedling growth and emergence, but had no effect on stand ratings. The poor physical conditions created on the conventionally tilled plots when the B and C horizons were brought to the surface and organic matter was buried by the plow are believed to have caused the difference in seedling counts between the two tillage treatments.