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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Restoring and Managing Great Basin Ecosystems

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Title: Medusahead management guide for the Intermountain West

Authors
item DAVIES, KIRK
item Nafus, Aleta -
item Johnson, Dustin -

Submitted to: United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: November 18, 2013
Publication Date: November 23, 2013
Citation: Davies, K.W., Nafus, A.M., Johnson, D.D. 2013. Medusahead management guide for the Intermountain West. United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. 1-12.

Interpretive Summary: Medusahead is an exotic annual grass that is decreasing livestock forage production, increasing wildfire frequency, and reducing biodiversity in sagebrush rangelands. The spread of medusahead should be reduced by treating infestations along roads, increasing or maintaining perennial bunchgrass abundance, and monitoring for and eradicating small populations. The best control of medusahead is achieved with prescribed burning followed by a fall application of a pre-emergent herbicide. Seeding crested wheatgrass and squirreltail one year after application of a pre-emergent herbicide has been successfully used to revegetate medusahead-invaded drier sagebrush plant communities. Seeding native plants after medusahead control is generally not as successful as using introduced species unless applied in more mesic sagebrush communities.

Technical Abstract: Medusahead is an exotic annual grass that is decreasing livestock forage production, increasing wildfire frequency, and reducing biodiversity in sagebrush rangelands. The spread of medusahead should be reduced by treating infestations along roads, increasing or maintaining perennial bunchgrass abundance, and monitoring for and eradicating small populations. The best control of medusahead is achieved with prescribed burning followed by a fall application of a pre-emergent herbicide. Seeding crested wheatgrass and squirreltail one year after application of a pre-emergent herbicide has been successfully used to revegetate medusahead-invaded drier sagebrush plant communities. Seeding native plants after medusahead control is generally not as successful as using introduced species unless applied in more mesic sagebrush communities.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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