• Digestible Energy and Protein Content of Gulf Cordgrass following Burning or Shredding

      McAtee, J. W.; Scifres, C. J.; Drawe, D. L. (Society for Range Management, 1979-09-01)
      Digestible energy and crude protein content of green gulf cordgrass forage was significantly increased for 30 to 90 days after burning or shredding on the Coastal Prairie. Within 30 days after treatment, digestible energy content ranged from 2,414 to 2,891 kcal/kg in regrowth on burned areas, and from 1,879 to 2,602 kcal/kg on shredded areas compared to 1,612 to 1,917 kcal/kg in green leaves of plants from untreated areas. Crude protein content at the same time was 9 to 11% following burning or shredding compared to 4 to 5% in green plant material from untreated areas. Differences in the nutritional components varied more with time after sampling within a season of treatment when they varied among seasons of treatment or between methods of treatment. Therefore, both burning and shredding have potential for increasing nutritional value of gulf cordgrass during the cool season, a period when other green forages are scarce on the Coastal Prairie.
    • Improvement of Gulf Cordgrass Range with Burning or Shredding

      McAtee, J. W.; Scifres, C. J.; Drawe, D. L. (Society for Range Management, 1979-09-01)
      Shredding or burning during the spring, summer, or winter increased the live gulf cordgrass standing crop, decreased the dead gulf cordgrass standing crop, and increased the percentage of plants supporting inflorescences by the end of the first growing season after treatment on a clay site. The most favorable growth responses resulted from treatment in the spring, apparently because subsequent rainfall was greater than following summer treatments. Shredding generally stimulated herbaceous yields more than burning. Presumably the heavy mulch cover after shredding improved moisture relationships relative to the bare surface following fires. Burning or shredding resulted in less favorable responses on a saline fine sand than on the clay site. However, on the saline fine sand as on the clay site, shredding promoted production of gulf cordgrass more than did burning. Both methods are effective for improving gulf cordgrass range for livestock grazing, but burning is apparently the more economical alternative.