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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of a Decision-support System for the Ecologically-based Management of Cheatgrass- and Medusahead-infested Rangeland

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Title: Grazing invasive annual grasses: the green and brown guide

Authors
item Smith, Brenda
item Sheley, Roger
item Svejcar, Anthony

Submitted to: Agricultural Research Service Publication
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2012
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Citation: Smith, B.S., Sheley, R.L., Svejcar, A.J. 2012. Grazing invasive annual grasses: the green and brown guide. Agricultural Research Service Publication. 36 p.

Interpretive Summary: Invasion of rangeland by annual grasses has become one of the most serious and catastrophic problems in the western United States. Annual grasses displace desired plants and create monocultures that do not provide adequate plant cover for the entire year. Using the ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) framework is a dynamic planning process to account for the high level of ecological complexity on our rangelands. Grazing is a component of EBIPM and grazing can be used to create open niches for desired species, reduce seed production and controls or prevents annual grasses. Grazing is quite possibly the most critical and useful strategy managers can utilize for invasive species. Details on how exactly to implement grazing in an integrated program, especially for invasive annual grasses, are often missing in management guidelines. This guideline offers information to 1)gain understanding of the value of grazing as a management tool, 2)understand how grazing fits into the ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) system, 3)offer specifics about the principles of grazing annual grasses, 4)recognize distinct management goals and their associated grazing strategies, and 5)offer examples of annual grass grazing programs.

Technical Abstract: Invasion of rangeland by annual grasses has become one of the most serious and catastrophic problems in the western United States. Annual grasses displace desired plants and create monocultures that do not provide adequate plant cover for the entire year. Using the ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) framework is a dynamic planning process to account for the high level of ecological complexity on our rangelands. Grazing is a component of EBIPM and grazing can be used to create open niches for desired species, reduce seed production and controls or prevents annual grasses. Grazing is quite possibly the most critical and useful strategy managers can utilize for invasive species. Details on how exactly to implement grazing in an integrated program, especially for invasive annual grasses, are often missing in management guidelines. This guideline offers information to 1)gain understanding of the value of grazing as a management tool, 2)understand how grazing fits into the ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) system, 3)offer specifics about the principles of grazing annual grasses, 4)recognize distinct management goals and their associated grazing strategies, and 5)offer examples of annual grass grazing programs.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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