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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Use of Micro-Nutrient Seed Treatment in Range Restoration Efforts

Authors
item Clements, Darin
item Young, James

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2006
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Citation: Clements, C.D., Young, J.A. 2006. Using of micro-nutrient seed treatment in range restoration efforts. Rangelands. 28(2):26-29.

Interpretive Summary: Resource managers often get frustrated when restoration/revegetation efforts fail. The failure of restoration/revegetation efforts in arid and semi-arid environments is a common theme. In more recent time resource managers have attempted to use propriety seed treatment products as an alternative to conventional methods in hopes of increasing success. The propriety products are often made up micro-nutrients and “secret” ingredients and advertised as increasing germination and establishment of plant species used in restoration efforts. There is a mix of reports from resource managers as to the level of success experienced. These reports range from excellent success to no success. The lack of experimental design makes it impossible to assign cause and effect of such successes and failures. We investigated the use of the propriety product GERM-N-8® on 8 native, 1 non-native perennial grass and 5 popular shrub species used in restoration and revegetation efforts in the arid and semi-arid western United States at two locations in western Nevada.

Technical Abstract: The effort to restore disturbed sites to mitigate environmental degradation is consuming an increasing amount of natural resource managers’ time. In arid and semi-arid environments, restoration seedings are often difficult to establish. Resource managers have become frustrated with these seeding failures after using conventional methodologies and have started using non-conventional methodologies such as propriety seed treatments. In 1999 more than 1.8 million acres of rangelands burned in the state of Nevada alone. More than 60 million dollars was obligated over a 2 year period in an effort to restore these rangelands. One District of the Bureau of Land Management, USDI treated more than 900,000 pounds of seed with GERM-N-8® at a cost of over $190,000. Resource managers report success and failures using this propriety product, yet with the lack of experimental design it is impossible to assign cause and effect of such successes and failures. We tested the use of the propriety seed treatment GERM-N-8® on 8 native, 1 non-native perennial grass and 5 popular shrub species in western Nevada from 2001 through 2005. The use of this propriety product resulted in an increase in emergence for some species, but there was no significant (P ³ 0.05) difference in plant establishment when using this seed treatment.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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