• Viewpoint: Forage and Range Research Needs in the Central Great Plains

      Vogel, K. P.; Gorz, H. J.; Haskins, F. A. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      In the central Great Plains, pastures and rangelands often are not economically competitive with grain crops. This has led to increases in acreages of row crops at the expense of rangelands, pastures, and hay crops on marginal lands resulting in severe erosion problems. The productivity of forages, pastures, and rangelands needs to be increased to levels that would make them economically competitive with grain crops. Innovative research will be needed to develop the required knowledge and technology upon which productivity increases can be based. Pastures and rangelands in this area are usually components of production systems which may also include the feeding of hay, silage, crop residues, and other feeds. Coordinated research teams need to be formed that can focus on all components of these production systems. Research needs and objectives of these research teams can be categorized by the land capability classes of the three major ecological regions in this area, the tall-grass, mid-grass, and short-grass prairie. In all of these regions, a classification system that is production-oriented rather than climax-oriented is needed for both pastures and rangelands if effective control of soil erosion and optimal income per land unit are to be achieved. Interstate cooperation in establishing a research team for major ecological region would facilitate the most efficient use of research resources.
    • Video Imagery: A New Remote Sensing Tool for Range Management

      Everitt, J. H.; Nixon, P. R. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      A multi-video system that provides immediately useful narrowband black-and-white imagery within the visible to near-infrared light (0.40- to 1.10-micrometer waveband) region of the electromagnetic spectrum was evaluated as a remote sensing tool to assess several ecological rangeland ground conditions in southern Texas. The system provided imagery to detect many variables including: the presence of weeds, heavy grazing, fertilized grassland, burned areas, and gopher and ant mounds. Certain narrowband filters provided better discrimination among vegetation than others. For example, a red narrowband filter provided the best imagery to distinguish between fertilized and nonfertilized bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]. These results demonstrated that narrowband multi-video imagery could assist in assessing some ecological ground conditions of rangelands.
    • Use of Power Curves to Monitor Range Trend

      Tanke, W. C.; Bonham, C. D. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Type I and Type II errors and the power of the test when testing the null hypothesis of static range trend are discussed. The consequences associated with Type I and Type II errors are judged to be similar and therefore the probability of committing a Type I or Type II error should be equal. As an example, the current range trend monitoring program for the Moose Camp Allotment on USDA Forest Service land in southwestern Montana is capable of detecting a change in range condition of one condition class 83% of the time when the probability of Type I error is set at .17 (Prob[-Type I Error] = Prob [Type II Error] = .17). Doubling the sample size would increase the ability to detect a condition class change to 95% when the probability of Type I error is set at .05 (Prob[Type I Error] = Prob[Type II Error] = .05).
    • The Influence of Several Range Improvements on Estimated Carrying Capacity and Potential Beef Production

      Svejcar, T.; Vavra, M. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      A simple calculation is proposed for estimating carrying capacity of range sites based on seasonal forage quality and standing crop. The model estimates animal unit days a pasture can support. Potential beef production of a particular site was estimated by multiplying animal unit days by average daily gain as indicated from forage quality. Improved and unimproved portions of 4 plant communities (grassland, mixed conifer, lodgepole pine, and moist meadow) were compared for carrying capacity and potential beef production. Improvement generally resulted in large increases in both carrying capacity and potential beef production; however, only in the case of the grassland did range improvement extend the period during which weight gains could be expected. Calculations indicate that energy generally became limiting before crude protein. Forage quality was insufficient to maintain weight gains of growing animals after mid-summer. Advantages and limitations of the calculations are discussed.
    • Technical Notes: Cannula Adaptations for Esophageally Fistulated Cattle

      Forwood, J. R.; Ortbals, J. L.; Zinn, G.; Paterson, J. A. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      A modified, flexible pastisol reentrant ileal (MPI) cannula was made and tested for ability to eliminate esophageal depressions, to promote healing in fistulated steers already experiencing esophageal depressions and for general use in grazing situations. Aluminum and stainless steel 'sleeve-type' removable esophageal cannulas were coated with plastisol to reduce irritation of recently established and older esophageal fistulas. Both methods appear to reduce health problems in esophageally fistulated cattle used in grazing situations. However, lower cost of the MPI, health advantages and reduced labor requirements made it the cannula of choice over the sleeve-type cannulas.
    • Site Variation in Forage Qualities of Mountain Mahogany and Serviceberry

      Kufeld, R. C.; Stevens, M. L.; Bowden, D. C. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Nutrient and fiber content and in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDDM) were measured in mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) and serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) samples collected during January from 8 geographic areas distributed throughout the western half of Colorado. Coefficients of variation (CV) in dry matter content, cell content, crude protein, soluble carbohydrate, cell walls, holocellulose and IVDDM were 10% or less for both species. Winter variation in these parameters appears to be small enough to permit using a constant value for them in calculating winter nutritional status of big game rangelands.
    • Sheep Losses to Predators on a California Range, 1973-1983

      Scrivner, J. H.; Howard, W. E.; Murphy, A. H.; Hays, J. R. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Predation at the University of California Hopland Field Station was evaluated for an 11-year period beginning in 1973. Of those lambs placed on range, an average of 2.7% were killed each year by predators. An average of 1.5% of the ewes were killed. When the number of missing animals which were killed was estimated, the average annual predation rate for lambs and ewes killed was 10.4 and 3.8%, respectively. For all known ewe and lamb deaths, respectively, 45% and 26% were caused by predators, 14% and 28% died from causes other than predation, and 41% and 46% died from unknown causes. Of those sheep killed by predators, 89% were killed by coyotes (Canis latrans), 8% by dogs, and 1% each by black bear (Ursus americanus), mountain lion (Felis concolor), and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). More sheep were killed by coyotes from October to March than from April to September and the annual number of sheep killed by coyotes and dogs has increased since the beginning of the study. Not including the value of missing animals which were killed, the present value of livestock killed by predators was estimated to be $62,364.
    • Seed Predation, Seedling Emergence, and Rhizome Characteristics of American Licorice

      Boe, A.; Wynia, R. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      American licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota Pursh) is a widespread native legume that may have potential forage or soil conservation uses. Seed predation, seedling emergence, and rhizome production were studied in 41 populations of G. lepidota from North and South Dakota. Seed predation by the beetle Acanthoscelides fraterculus (Horn) reduced viable seed production by 7 to 71%. Seedling emergence in the greenhouse and stand establishment in the field varied considerably among populations. Overall mean field emergence was 41%. Five South Dakota populations exhibited lethal chlorophyll deficient seedlings. Rhizome numbers of year-old spaced-plants ranged from 3 to 32, with a mean of 13.3. Mean number of nodes/rhizome was 7.5. This study indicated that stands of G. lepidota could be established from seed and individual plants could spread rapidly by rhizomes. However, heavy seed predation by bruchid beetles and lack of inflorescence production in cultivated nurseries could seriously limit viable seed production.
    • Seasonal Nitrogen Translocation in Big Bluestem During Drought Conditions

      Hayes, D. C. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      This study, conducted during a severe drought in 1980, assesses the effects of burned and unburned treatments in tallgrass prairie on nitrogen content of big bluestem, Andropogon gerardii Vitman. Seasonal total nitrogen and amino-nitrogen translocations in big bluestem in the tallgrass prairie were studied on burned and unburned treatments within Konza Prairie Research Natural Area, Manhattan, Kans. Leaf total nitrogen dropped from .71% in June 1980 to .21% in November with no significant difference between treatments. Rhizome total nitrogen was significantly different between treatments with a June to November increase of .46% to .86% in unburned and .41% to .82% in burned treatments. Roots averaged 72% of rhizome total nitrogen, indicating that roots are also used as storage organs for nitrogen. Comparisons with other studies conducted in 1980 and 1971-1972 indicate that drought stress may reduce the total nitrogen content of big bluestem. In April 1980, emerging leaves on the unburned plots were significantly higher in amino acid concentration than those on the burned plots. Although leaf amino acid concentration was constant after July, the percent of total nitrogen as amino acids increased 3 to 4 fold from mid-August to October. Rhizome amino acid concentration was significantly higher on the unburned than on burned plots. The September 1980 increase in leaf amino acid concentration and percent of total nitrogen as amino acids indicates a breakdown of protein in aboveground tissue. The concurrent increase in rhizome amino acid concentration and percent of total nitrogen as amino acids supports the concept of fall translocation of nitrogen to the belowground parts which serve as storage organs.
    • Productivity of Russian Wildrye and Crested Wheatgrass and Their Effect on Prairie Soils

      Smoliak, S.; Dormaar, J. F. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn.) and Russian wildrye (Elymus junceus Fisch.) are used extensively as seeded pastures in the Prairie Provinces of Canada. Rangeland plowed in 1954 was planted to the 2 grasses in 1955. Herbage was harvested over a 25-year period, root weights were determined in 1977, and soil samples were obtained in 1965 and 1978 from the 2 seeded pastures and from adjacent native rangeland from each of 3 replicates. Forage production from the seeded pastures was greatest 4 years after seeding. Averaged over all years, crested wheatgrass yielded 113% more and Russian wildrye yielded 47% more forage than did native rangeland. Total root weight in the surface 15-cm layer of soil was greater on the native rangeland pasture than on the seeded pastures. Soils from native range pastures generally contained more organic carbon, less sodium, and had lower pH and sodium adsorption ratios than the soils from Russian wildrye pastures seeded 10 and 23 years before the soils were sampled. The organic C and pH's of the soils obtained from crested wheatgrass pastures decreased during the 23-year period while those of soils from the native range did not change.
    • N, P, And K Fertilization of Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) Overseeded Range in Eastern Oklahoma

      Mitchell, R. L.; Ewing, A. L.; McMurphy, W. E. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      A native hay meadow in northeastern Oklahoma was overseeded with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and fertilized for 6 years with N in August and February to encourage tall fescue growth in late fall and early spring, thus extending the green forage season. The effect of P and K fertilizer on forage yield and plant nutrient concentration was determined. Cool-season N fertilization (112 kg/ha) nearly doubled tall fescue yield and increased forage nitrogen concentration without altering warm-season grass production. Additions of P (15, 29 kg/ha) and K (28, 112 kg/ha) increased cool-season forage yield marginally and increased fertilizer N recovery but had no desirable effect on forage N, P, and K content. Tall grass decreaser species were dominant at the end of the study. Available soil P increased with P fertilization and available soil K increased with K fertilization.
    • Long-Term Residual Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization on Western Wheatgrass

      White, L. M. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Nitrogen (N) fertilization can be an effective way of increasing forage production. The question is how much does N fertilization increase forage yield of western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii) when there is not a shift in species composition as occurs when N is applied to a native range site. The objectives of this research were to determine the residual effects of a single application of (1) 6 geometric rates of N and phosphorus (P) on forage yield, in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD), crude protein (CP), and phosphorus (P) concentration (conc) of western wheatgrass grown near Sidney, Mont. during a 10-year period. Ammonium nitrate was applied at 0, 40, 80, 160, 320, and 640 kg N/ha in March 1973 and triple super phosphate at 45 kg P/ha on split plots during August 1975. A single application of N increased forage yield by 0.0, 0.0, 0.95, 0.35, 0.0, 1.16, 0.52, and 1.41 kg/ha per kg of N applied the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 10th year sampled, respectively, regardless of N rate. Nitrogen fertilization increased the accumulative forage (P<0.01) and CP (P<0.01) yield over the 8 harvest-years by 4.35 and 0.87 kg/ha per kg of N applied. Nitrogen fertilization increased the average forage IVDMD by 0.1 percentage units (P<0.05) and decreased P conc by 0.03 percentage units per 100 kg N/ha applied (P<0.01). Application of 45 kg P/ha in 1975 increased the P conc of the forage an average of 0.04 percentage units each year, increased forage yield only the 10th year by 150 kg/ha, and had no effect on IVDMD or CP. This study also showed that long-term observations are necessary to measure the residual effects of fertilization.
    • Leafy Spurge Control and Improved Forage Production with Herbicides

      Lym, R. G.; Messersmith, C. G. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      An experiment to evaluate 59 long-term leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) management alternatives with resulting forage production was established at 4 sites in North Dakota in 1980. The herbicides applied included 2,4-D [(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid], dicamba (3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid), and picloram (4-amino-3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinecarboxylic acid). Picloram was applied as the liquid spray, granules or using a roller or pipe-wick reduced volume applicator. All original treatments applied in 1980 reduced leafy spurge density 65% or more but required retreatments in 1981 and 1982 to maintain good control. Picloram sprayed at 2.2 kg/ha followed by a herbicide retreatment provided the best leafy spurge control at 84% after 3 years, but resulted in only intermediate annual forage production. Picloram roller applied provided 84% initial leafy spurge control and increased forage production an average of 28%, but control declined rapidly without retreatment. Picloram pipe-wick applied gave poor leafy spurge control and no increase in forage production. The most cost effective treatments for both leafy spurge control and high forage production were annual applications of picloram at 0.28 kg/ha or picloram plus 2,4-D at 0.28 plus 1.1. kg/ha. These treatments increased annual forage production by 64 and 71%, respectively, and reduced leafy spurge production by 96% compared to the untreated control. Annual application of 2,4-D did not reduce the leafy spurge density but did control the top growth long enough to allow increased forage production. Several long-term management alternatives provide a choice for leafy spurge control depending on geographical location, neighboring vegetation, and economic considerations.
    • Green Needlegrass and Blue Grama Seedling Growth in Controlled Environments

      Fulbright, T. E.; Wilson, A. M.; Redente, E. F. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Green needlegrass [Stipa viridula Trin.] and blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag.] possess the C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways, respectively. Objectives of this study were to compare growth analysis traits of green needlegrass and blue grama and to determine the effects of 2 temperature regimes on seedling growth characteristics of both species. Seedlings of 2 accessions each of green needlegrass and blue grama were grown in growth chambers under 20 degrees C day-15 degrees C night (20-15 degrees C) and 25 degrees C day-20 degrees C night (25-20 degrees C) temperature regimes (with a 15-hr photoperiod). Beginning 2 weeks after planting, seedlings were harvested twice a week for 3 weeks. Growth analysis traits were calculated with data obtained from each harvest using exponential regression equations. Net assimilation rates of blue grama were higher than those of green needlegrass at both temperatures. Seedling growth of blue grama was more rapid at 25-20 degrees than at 20-15 degrees C, while seedling growth of green needlegrass did not differ between temperatures. Blue grama seedlings exhibited higher relative growth rates than green needlegrass seedlings at 25-20 degrees C but not at 20-15 degrees C. Green needlegrass accessions differed for relative growth rates at 25-20 degrees C, which indicated the possibility of selecting for rapid seedling growth.
    • Evaluation of Fecal Indices to Predict Cattle Diet Quality

      Wofford, H.; Holechek, J. L.; Galyean, M. L.; Wallace, J. D.; Cardenas, M. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      A study involving 6 feeds of widely varying chemical properties fed to 6 steers in a Latin square design was conducted to evaluate the potential of fecal chemical characteristics for predicting ruminant nutritional status. Forage intake, diet in vivo digestibility %, and diet nitrogen % were used as dependent variables and fecal nitrogen %, nucleic acid %, nonfiber bound nitrogen %, ether extract %, neutral detergent fiber %, acid detergent fiber %, acid detergent lignin %, water soluble material %, and acid/pepsin disappearance % were used as independent variables in regression equations. Forage intake and diet in vivo digestibility could not be accurately predicted from any single variable or combination of independent variables. Fecal acid/pepsin disappearance was the independent variable most highly correlated with forage intake (r = .63) and diet in vivo digestibility (r = .33). Diet nitrogen % was highly correlated with fecal nitrogen % (r = .81) and fecal acid pepsin disappearance % (r = .83). Combined data from this and other studies give a generalized regression equation that shows potential for detecting nitrogen deficiencies in steer diets from fecal N % (organic matter basis) when steer diets contain low levels of soluble phenolics. When steer fecal nitrogen % drops below 1.7%, dietary nitrogen deficiencies should be suspected.
    • Effects of Selected Seed Treatment on Germination Rates of Five Range Plants

      Weaver, L. C.; Jordan, G. L. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Effects of various treatments on germination rates were determined for Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees), 'Cochise' lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees × Eragrostis tricophora Coss & Dur), Boer lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula var. conferta Nees), blue panicgrass (Panicum antidotale Retz.) and four-wing saltbush (Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt.) seeds. Rates were approximations of time to 50% germination, and seed treatments included applications of potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, gibberellic acid, and heat desiccation. Germination rates could be increased, but treatment effects were not uniform between seed lots within a species or among species. Desiccation at 70 degrees C for 24 hours was particularly effective in increasing germination rates of Boer and Lehmann lovegrass seeds. Increased rates of germination of certain species might aid in establishment of range seedings made under limited moisture conditions of the Southwest.
    • Effects of Controlling Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs on Plant Production

      Uresk, D. W. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Plant production of 43 plant species was evaluated for three treatments after poisoning black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on rangelands in western South Dakota. The three pre-poison treatments were ungrazed (no cattle or prairie dogs), prairie dogs only, and cattle plus prairie dogs. Western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii) had lower production on the prairie dog, and cattle-prairie dog treatments 4 years after prairie dog control, when compared with no grazing. Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) showed a decrease in production on the cattle plus prairie dog grazing treatment, when compared to no grazing. Production of needleleaf sedge (Carex eleocharis) was lower on the cattle-prairie dog treatment, when compared to the prairie dog treatment. No other significant differences were observed over the 4-year period among the three treatments for all other species, including grass and forb categories. Prairie dog control did not increase plant production over a 4-year period. Additional time with reduced livestock grazing may be required to increase forage production.
    • Dietary Overlap Among Axis, Fallow, and Black-Tailed Deer and Cattle

      Elliott, H. W.; Barrett, R. H. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Seasonal diets of native Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) and exotic axis deer (Axis axis axis), fallow deer (Dama dama dama), and cattle (Bos taurus) on Point Reyes National Seashore were determined by microhistological technique to assess their dietary overlap. Throughout the year black-tailed deer ate mostly forbs, axis deer and fallow deer ate mostly grasses and forbs, and cattle ate mostly grasses. Only a few plant species comprised most of their diets. Percent composition of food species was not related to their preference indexes. Diets of axis and fallow deer overlapped more with each other and cattle than with black-tailed deer except during the summer when the dietary overlap among all species was similar at a lower level. Comparison of seasonal diets of deer with this and other studies indicated that food consumption of deer was not limited to particular food classes.
    • Controlling Shrubs in the Arid Southwest with Tebuthiuron

      Herbel, C. H.; Morton, H. L.; Gibbens, R. P. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Various rates of tebuthiuron pellets were aerially applied on rangelands in the Southwest to determine effects on noxious shrubs. Creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) and tarbush (Flourensia cernua) shrubs were controlled with 0.4 and 0.3 kg active ingredient (a.i.)/ha, respectively, of tebuthiuron pellets. About 1.1 kg a.i./ha of tebuthiuron pellets controlled honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) growing on loamy sands or sandy loams. About 0.6 and 0.5 kg a.i./ha of tebuthiuron pellets controlled whitethorn acacia (Acacia constricta) and desert zinnia (Zinnia pumila), respectively. Higher rates of tebuthiuron are needed to control those shrubs on deep, fine textured soils than on shallow, coarse textured soils.