Improving Native Wet Meadows

Final Report for FNC94-064C

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 1994: $1,666.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1996
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $2,975.00
Region: North Central
State: Nebraska
Project Coordinator:
Expand All

Project Information

Summary:

PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND RESULTS
The Ramm plots were seeded August 26, 1995. Four treatments were included: 1) Gramoxone @ 2 pints per acre, 2) Simulated Grazing (close mowed), 3) Roundup @ 1 ½ quarts per acre and 4) Check strip. A total of 9 different grass and legume mixtures were seeded on the three strips (no seeding in the check strip).

Some new plants were apparent shortly after seeding, but it was difficult to “row” very many of the plots. During the summer of 1995 more of the interseeded plants began to appear. However, it was difficult to find very much except in the area which had been treated with Roundup. The entire plot area was cut and forage removed. Walking through the plots during the summer of 1995, the introduced grasses and legumes had become even more obvious, especially in the Roundup treated area. Brome, Garrison and Intermediate Wheat were the most identifiable introduced grasses. Birds foot trefoil and red clover were the most obvious introduced legumes, but a considerable amount of Alsike clover could also be found. Again the plot area was cut and forage removed.

The project has not been a complete success but some improvement to the plot area has occurred. An application of fertilizer in the spring of 1997 followed by a plot harvest and analysis may be more revealing.

The Larry O’Keif plot report is about the same. The plot is very wet and was under water for several weeks after planting and had been flooded each spring. Some of the grass, especially the Garrison Creeping Foxtail and the Reed Canary grass are showing up in the plots, but very few legumes.

Time will tell whether the introduced grasses will take over an be dominant here.

The Keller plot was seeded August 29, 1994 with a John Deere Power Till Drill. Four pre-plant treatments were the same as the others, with a grass and legume mix.
1) Reed Canary grass + 3-way Legume mix (Alsike Clover, Birds foot Trefoil, Red Clover)
2) Birds foot Trefoil
3) NewHy + 3-way Legume mix
4) Garrison Creeping Foxtail + 3-way Legume mix

The site is Loup Fine Sandy Loam, poorly drained and has been under water more than normal. Each year if has been hayed and not grazed.

In the spring of 1995, some rowing of the Reed Canary grass and Garrison Creeping Foxtail could be seen, hardly any legumes. In the spring of 1996, a meadow mix fertilizer (13-16-6-5-13) was applied. In the spring of 1996, rows of Reeds and Garrison were more evident, more plants than last year but still legumes. Of all the pre-plant treatments, the Roundup looked like the best stand.

My first conclusion is that Roundup at 1 ½ quarts/acre is needed for good native grass suppression before planting.

Secondly, Reeds and Garrison will take but it will be several years to see the results. It also looks like the Birds foot Trefoil will grow better on the wetter sites than the other legumes.

Visual observations will be made in 1997 and beyond to determine the success of these seedings.

RAMM SITE
Good stand of birds foot trefoil, red clover and garrison creeping foxtail were obtained. The roundup treatment was by far the best when compared to the other two vegetation suppression treatments.

KELLER SITE
Good stand of garrison creeping foxtail and reed canary grass were obtained. Due to extremely wet weather all of the legume seedings failed. Again the roundup treatment was superior for vegetation control and enhancing stand establishment.

O’KEIF SITE
No legumes survived at this site. The roundup treatment had adequate stands of garrison creeping foxtail and red canary grass. This site was also under water for 6 to 8 weeks in the fall after seeding due to heavy amounts of precipitation right after seeding.

OUTREACH
News releases and or radio programs were made on all sites. One on one consultations were made with producers in North Central Nebraska concerning these plots. Self guided tours were also made by several interested persons.

Research

Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.