Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Cool-Season Perennial Forage Grasses Planted With and Without Alfalfa Under Irrigation for Hay Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2008: $14,999.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Wyoming
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Blaine Horn
University of Wyoming

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: general hay and forage crops, grass (misc. perennial), hay


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling, application rate management, tissue analysis
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Soil Management: soil analysis

    Proposal summary:

    Alfalfa is a predominant crop grown in the Western United States, but good yielding stands may last only seven years or less before it needs to be tilled and replanted. Weed and insect controls for alfalfa are limited and costly, leaves fall off easily after a fall frost and the legume can easily cause bloat in ruminant animals. Generally, cool-season grasses do not have these associated problems.

    Elmer Detavernier will make available the 300 irrigated acres he leases to study nitrogen and water use by forage grasses and alfalfa/forage grass mixes in this Professional + Producer Grant. The results from the project could provide management alternatives for Western U.S. ranchers by prolonging grazing ability of their land and reducing hay production costs.

    Blaine Horn, University of Wyoming Big Horn Mountain Area Extension Educator, will conduct field days and workshops to share the findings, which will be integrated into the Wyoming Girls’ School curriculum with similar agricultural research.

    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.