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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Testing Perennial Grasses for Low-Input Biomass Production and Persistence in Cold High-Elevation Growing Environments of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Evaluate seasonal biomass accumulation, persistence, and forage quality of cool-season grasses under different fertilizer treatments at cold high-elevation growing environments in Colorado and Utah.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS and Flux Farm (Colorado) will jointly plan, design, and implement multi-year field evaluations of cool-season perennial grass species. Emphasis will be placed on low-input management techniques, including reduced water, fertilizer, and fuel requirements. ARS and Flux Farm will jointly prepare and publish assessments of the biomass production potentials and efficiency over different growing environments of the semiarid western U.S., by summarizing literature and results of other ongoing field experiments conducted by the ARS.


3.Progress Report:

During FY-2012: The focus of this project has shifted from the Flux Farm testing site, at Carbondale, Colorado to a another testing site maintained by Colorado State University at Fruita, Colorado, which was included in the original plans outlined by this project. As originally planned, a replicated field trial was seeded on October 20 of 2011. The trial has 12 entries to include: 1) Acc641 creeping wildrye x Acc636 basin wildrye hybrid 2) Acc641 creeping wildrye x ‘Trailhead’ basin wildrye hybrid 3) ‘Continental’ basin wildrye 4) ‘Magnar’ basin wildrye 5) ‘Trailhead’ basin wildrye 6) ‘Mustain’ Altai wildrye 7) ‘Alkar’ tall wheatgrass 8) ‘Rush’ intermediate wheatgrass 9) ‘Oahe’ intermediate wheatgrass 10) Introduced mix 11) ‘Blackwell’ and ‘Dacota’ switchgrass mix

Each plot is 10 x 15 feet with 5 replications. Plots were watered in October of 2011 and Spring of 2012. All plots, except switchgrass, were successfully established by late May of 2012.


Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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