Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 2002
Publication Date: February 5, 2003
Citation: GILLEN, R.L. RESPONSE OF YELLOW BLUESTEM PASTURES TO PRESCRIBED BURNING AND HERBICIDE APPLICATION. SOCIETY FOR RANGE MANAGEMENT MEETING ABSTRACTS. 2003. ABSTRACT ON CD ROM. Technical Abstract: Prescribed burning and herbicide application are commonly used for management of introduced pastures in the Southern Plains but their quantitative impact is not well documented. We determined the impact of prescribed burning or herbicide application on forb populations, the production and nutritive value of grasses, and the production of beef steers from pastures of yellow bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum (L.) Keng var. ischaemum). The study was conducted from 1998 to 2000 at the Southern Plains Experimental Range in northwestern Oklahoma. Three treatments were evaluated: 1) an untreated check; 2) annual prescribed burning in early April; and 3) annual application of 0.9 kg a.i./ha of 2,4-D (2,4 dichlorophenoxy acetic acid) and 2.8 g a.i./ha of metsulfuron methyl (methyl 2-[[[[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-trazin-2yl)amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]benzoate). Burn and herbicide treatments reduced forb densities in the growing season but forb populations were of practical significance in only 1 of 3 years. Forage production of yellow bluestem was not affected by treatment (P > 0.05), averaging 6370, 6180, and 6520 kg/ha for the check, burn, and herbicide treatments. Forage nutritive value was consistently higher in burn pastures early in the grazing season. Beef gains over the 92-d grazing period were similar at 99, 95, and 98 kg/steer for the check, burn, and herbicide treatments (P > 0.05). Beef yields of 211, 202, and 211 kg/ha were not different for the check, burn, and herbicide treatments (P > 0.05). Burning or herbicide application had little advantage under the conditions of this study.