Submitted to: Grass and Forage Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 28, 2008
Publication Date: February 10, 2009
Citation: Robins, J.G., Jensen, K.B., Peel, M., Waldron, B.L. 2009. Establishment of Warm-Season Grasses in Summer and Damage in Winter Under Supplementary Irrigation in a Semi-Arid Environment at High Elevation in Western United States of America. Grass and Forage Science 64:42-48. Interpretive Summary: The potential of warm-season grass biomass production was investigated over two years at two irrigated, high-elevation settings of the intermountain U.S. Varieties of seven warm-season and six cool-season grass species were compared. Several warm-season grass species, including switchgrass, performed very favorably for initial year biomass production while maintaining good stands. Winter injury was higher for the warm-season species but did not result in reduced stands overall. Based on these results, warm-season grass biomass production may have potential in irrigated, high-elevation locations of the U.S.
Technical Abstract: This study assessed the establishment and winter injury potential of several warm-season grass species under irrigated conditions in semi-arid environments in the Intermountain USA during 2005 and 2006. Cultivars representing seven warm-season grass species and three cool-season grass species - six cool-season grass species were evaluated at two irrigated, high-elevation locations. Some warm-season grass species, including switchgrass, showed potential for production in these environments based on favorable performance with cool-season checks for initial and second year stand frequency and establishment year biomass production. All the warm-season grasses received greater winter injury than did the cool-season checks, creating concern about the persistence of warm-season grasses in these environments. However, the increased winter injury did not correspond to decreased stands of the warm-season grasses in the subsequent year. Thus, warm-season grass production for biomass may have potential in high-elevation, irrigated settings.