Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2011
Publication Date: 2/3/2012
Citation: Jensen, K.B., Derner, J.D., Staub, J.E., Rigby, C.W., Waldron, B.L. 2012. Fall and winter forage characteristics on 15 perennial range grass species. Abstract #23. Society for Range Management 65th Annual Meetings, Spokane, WA. Jan. 28-Feb. 5, 2012.
Technical Abstract: Forage availability and the required habitat for optimal livestock and wildlife production are often lacking at critical periods, particularly during the late fall and winter months. Harvesting and feeding stored forages during winter can account for as much as 70% of total livestock production costs in western North America, substantially reducing profit margins of livestock operations. The objectives of our study were to evaluate DM yield in early spring (May), regrowth (October), and stockpiled forage (October) and associated CP and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) of 15 perennial range grasses (27 entries) at Cheyenne, WY, in 2011. Species included were crested and Siberian wheatgrass (WG), tall WG, intermediate WG, RS-hybrid WG, bluebunch WG, slender WG, Snake River WG, thickspike WG, Western WG, Altai wildrye (WR), Russian WR, meadow and smooth bromegrass, and two mixtures. Crested WG (Hycrest II) significantly out yielded all other species at 1.3 kg plot-1 for spring growth followed by Siberian WG (Vavilov II) at 0.9 kg plot-1 and meadow bromegrass (breeding line) at 0.8 kg plot-1. With the exception of 'FirstStrike' slender WG which produced 0.7 kg plot-1 dry matter, all other native range grasses produced less than 0.3 kg plot-1. Two years after establishment, stand frequencies ranged from 98% stand in Russian WR (Bozoisky II) to 63% in bluebunch WG (Anatone). Dry matter yield for regrowth and stockpiled forage with associated CP and NDF values will be reported.