Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Nutritional and Seed Responses of Forage Kochia to Ruminal Incubation

Authors
item Schauer, Christopher - OREGON STATE UNIV
item Bohnert, David - OREGON STATE UNIV
item Carpinelli, Michael
item Falck, Stephanie

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2003
Publication Date: February 1, 2004
Citation: Schauer, C.S., Bohnert, D.W., Carpinelli, M.F., Falck, S.J. 2004. Nutritional and seed responses of forage kochia to ruminal incubation. Rangelands. 26(1):8-11.

Interpretive Summary: Forage kochia is an introduced perennial plant that may potentially provide high-quality winter forage for livestock while reducing the severity of wildland fires fueled by invasive annual grasses like cheatgrass. There is a concern that forage kochia may spread to native rangelands unintentionally after its seeds pass through the digestive tract of livestock. This study found that crude protein levels of forage kochia were lower than native grasses during spring, but higher during the rest of the year. Additionally, germination of forage kochia following incubation in steer rumen (simulating passage through the digestive tract) was 0%. These results show that forage kochia may provide complementary forage for livestock when native grasses are dormant and that it is unlikely that forage kochia will be spread unintentionally by grazing animals.

Technical Abstract: Forage kochia (Kochia prostrata) is an introduced perennial subshrub that may potentially provide high-quality winter forage for livestock while reducing the severity of wildland fires fueled by invasive annual grasses like cheatgrass. There is a concern that forage kochia may spread to native rangelands unintentionally after its seeds pass through the digestive tract of livestock. In this field study, we compared crude protein levels of forage kochia and native grasses sampled from April through January. We also compared germinability of forage kochia seeds after 0, 48, and 96 hours of ruminal incubation. We found that crude protein levels of forage kochia were lower than native grasses from April through June, but higher from July through January. Additionally, germination of forage kochia following ruminal incubation after 48 or 96 hours was 0%. These results show that forage kochia may provide complementary forage for livestock when native grasses are dormant and that it is unlikely that forage kochia will be spread unintentionally by grazing animals.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page