• Mechanical renovation of shortgrass prairie for increased herbage production

      Griffith, L. W.; Schuman, G. E.; Rauzi, F.; Baumgartner, R. E. (Society for Range Management, 1985-01-01)
      A study to determine the effects of single ripping, double ripping, and contour furrowing treatments was conducted on shortgrass rangeland in southeastern Wyoming from 1979-1982. The mechanical treatments changed species composition and increased total forage production over the control. Western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii Rydb.) exhibited increased production on the treated areas compared to the control. Blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. ex Griffiths] production was significantly lower on the double ripping (1981 and 1982) and the contour furrow (1981) treatments than on the control. Needle-and-thread (Stipa comata Trin. & Rupr.) exhibited an increasing trend on the single and double ripping treatment over the control treatment all 4 years. Forbs also showed his trend in 1979, 1980 and 1981 on all renovation treatments, however little difference in forb production was evident in 1982. Total production differences were the greatest in the first year of renovation (1979) and in 1980 when the annual precipitation was below the long-term average. Increased livestock carrying capacities would result in payback of the renovation costs in 4 years.