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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Competition and Survival of Perennial Cool-Season Grass Forage Seeded with Winter Wheat in the Southern Great Plains

Authors
item Kindiger, Bryan
item Conley, Terry - OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 10, 2001
Publication Date: August 21, 2001
Citation: KINDIGER, B.K., CONLEY, T. COMPETITION AND SURVIVAL OF PERENNIAL COOL-SEASON GRASS FORAGE SEEDED WITH WINTER WHEAT IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS. JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE. 2001. v. 21(1). p. 27-45.

Interpretive Summary: Wheat is the standard winter and spring forage of the southern Great Plains forage-livestock production system; however, cool-season perennial forage grasses can also become an integral component of a grazing system for livestock producers. A one year period without livestock grazing is typically necessary to provide stand establishment of the perennial cool- season species. The opposite is true for cool-season annuals like winter wheat or rye, which can be grazed following a brief period of stand establishment. The inability of a livestock producer to graze a newly sown perennial cool-season grass pasture causes a loss of land resources. This study was conducted to determine if perennial cool-season grass forages could compete and become established when inter-seeded with winter wheat as a companion species. Stand counts were performed on eighty-two perennial cool-season cultivars and experimental germplasms to determine survival rates. The trials indicate that crested wheatgrass, tall wheatgrass, intermediate wheatgrass, smooth bromegrass and western wheatgrass can compete successfully when inter-seeded with winter wheat and can produce good stands the following spring and fall.

Technical Abstract: Domestic wheat is the standard winter and spring forage of the Southern Great Plains forage-livestock production system; however, cool-season perennial forage grasses can also become an integral component of this grazing system for livestock producers. Due to the limited number of cool- season growing days in this region, a one year growing season without livestock grazing pressure is typically necessary to provide good stand establishment of the perennial cool-season species. The opposite is true for the case where cool-season annuals like winter wheat or rye can be grazed fairly heavily following a period of stand establishment. The inability of a livestock producer to heavily graze a newly sown perennial cool-season grass forage pasture provides not only a loss of land resources for grazing but limits the sites where a cattleman can sow pasture to cool- season species and continue to graze his livestock. This study was conducted to determine if perennial cool-season grass forages could compet and become established when inter-seeded with winter wheat as a companion species. Stand counts were performed on each three replicate plots of eighty-two perennial cool-season cultivars and experimental germplasms to determine survival rates. Evaluation of the trials indicate that crested wheatgrass, tall wheatgrass, intermediate wheatgrass, smooth bromegrass and western wheatgrass can compete successfully when inter-seeded with winter wheat and can produce good stands the following spring and fall.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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