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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

2013 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:

The main objective is to 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. During FY-2013: A replicated field trial was initially seeded on October 20 of 2011. The trial has 12 entries including two creeping x basin wildrye hybrids, 3 basin wildrye cultivars, two intermediate wheatgrass cultivars, tall wheatgrass, a mixture of two switchgrass varieties, and one pasture grass mix. Each plot is 10 x 15 feet with 5 replications of each entry. Plots were irrigated, fertilized, and harvested (twice per season) in 2012 and 2013. Dry matter yield and forage quality data have been measured from each plot so that entries could be statistically compared based on means and variances.


Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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