Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 36, Number 1 (January 1983) by Subjects
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Crested Wheatgrass—Early History in the United StatesThe first known introduction of crested wheatgrass into North America was made in 1898 by N.E. Hansen of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station from the Valuiki Experiment Station about 150 miles north of what is now Volgograd, U.S.S.R. This introduction did not become generally distributed or used. The second introduction received on an exchange basis from the same U.S.S.R. experiment station in 1906 was planted and increased at experiment stations in Newell, S.D., and Mandan, N.D. These increases were responsible for the early distribution and establishment of crested wheatgrass in the United States. The cultivar Fairway distributed in Canada from the University of Saskatchewan in the late 1920's came from one of the accessions of the second introduction first planted at Newell, S.D. Crested wheatgrass has become the most successful and the most widely used introduced grass in the semiard and arid region of western United States.
Quality of Forage and Cattle Diets on the Wyoming High PlainsDiets of cattle grazing crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fisch.) Schult.] or native range pastures and major forage species in these diets were analysed for crude protein (CP), acid and neutral detergent fiber (ADF and NDF), lignin, and in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD) 1975-1978. Objectives were to determine (1) rate of change in forage quality, (2) effect of weather on rate of change, and (3) degree of selection for diet quality by cattle. CP of 6 forage species declined .03-.23 percentage points/day, while IVDMD declined .06-.90 points/day. CP and IVDMD of western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii Rydb.), blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. ex Steud.], and scarlet globemallow [Spahaeralcea coccinea (Pursh.) Rydb.] were high in spring, while ADF, NDF, and lignin were low, but quality of grasses decreased much faster than that of the forb. Quality of needleandthread (Stipa comata Trin. & Rupr.) was lower than that of the other two grasses in spring, but CP declined more slowly then, while IVDMD declined at the same rates as that of blue grama and western wheatgrass. Quality of sedges (Carex spp.) was similar to that of western wheatgrass and blue grama in spring, but CP decreased faster while fiber components increased slower than those of grasses. CP of western wheatgrass and blue grama was increased by abundant spring rainfall, while that of blue grama increased after heavy summer rains. As the season progressed, cattle on range selected diets higher in crude protein and lower in cellulose than expected on the basis of botanical composition of the diet and composition of individual species. Quality of forage consumed increased markedly in mid-July when immature blue grama replaced needleandthread in the diet. Quality of crested wheatgrass declined faster than that of range grasses, although it was higher early in the spring. Diets of cattle on crested wheatgrass pasture in early spring were lower in quality than clipped crested wheatgrass, because of consumption of standing dead material, but diets were higher in quality than clipped grass in late spring.