Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #291395

Title: Improving seedling germination and emergence of legumes native to the semi-arid western USA

item Bushman, Shaun
item Johnson, Douglas
item HORNING, MATT - Forest Service (FS)
item SHOCK, CLINTON - Oregon State University
item Connors, Kevin
item Jones, Thomas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2013
Publication Date: 4/10/2013
Citation: Bushman, B.S., Johnson, D.A., Horning, M., Shock, C., Connors, K.J., Jones, T.A. 2013. Improving seedling germination and emergence of legumes native to the semi-arid western USA Native Seed Conference, Santa Fe, NM. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Basalt milkvetch (Astragalus filipes), western prairie clover (Dalea ornata), and Searl's prairie clover (Dalea searlsiae) are non-toxic to wildlife, have high forage quality, are adapted to climates with low rainfall (200-350mm), and have potential for agronomic seed production. However, these three legume species also exhibit challenging traits for seed production such as seed dormancy and indeterminate flowering. To improve their establishment on seed production farms and rangeland sites, we evaluated recent germplasm releases of these species (or soon-to-be released materials of Searls' prairie clover) for germination and emergence in greenhouse and field settings. Basalt milkvetch had maximum germination and emergence in dormant fall seedings, with slight improvements obtained with scarification. The two prairie clover species' germination responded to a greater extent to scarification, and maximum emergence occurred from scarified seed when planted in early spring. Soil type played a role in germination and emergence success and should be considered along with climate and moisture.