The Roundup -

Successfully Battling Annual Grass Invasions Focus Of ARS Talk


Annual grass invasions into productive perennial grasslands are creating headaches for livestock producers and land managers. As the annual grasses move in, their litter provides fuel for fires, which in turn aid germination of the annual invader, eventually crowding out the more nutritious, native perennial species. It’s a vicious cycle requiring substantial inputs by producers to reestablish perennial species in the face of these self-sustaining invaders.

However, in recent studies Agricultural Research Service scientists have successfully identified new solutions for producers. Those new options will be shared during the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory’s next 2016 BrownBagger presentation to be held on Friday, Feb. 26th at the Sidney research lab.

The presentation by ARS Post Doctoral Researcher Merilynn Schantz runs from noon to 1p.m at the lab located at 1500 N. Central Avenue in Sidney, MT. The event is open to the public.

“There is a significant need to identify the mechanisms sustaining invasive annual grasses, then determine perennial grasses that effectively establish in these regions, and ultimately identify management solutions for breaking this feedback cycle,” Schantz says of her research. “I’ll be presenting the results of two studies where we first identified the role of seed dispersal timing and frequency, seeding rate, and water availability on the competition between invasive annual and native perennial grasses, and then identified practical, ecologically-based management solutions for breaking the annual grass feedback cycle and restoring seeded perennial grasses to these degraded regions.”

Learn what management solutions they’ve uncovered. Bring your lunch and join us Friday, Feb. 26, for this very informative presentation. We’ll provide the dessert.

One program note: Dr. Shantz agreed to move up her presentation to Friday to fill in for NDSU Asst. Professor and Extension Agronomist Tom Peters who was originally scheduled to speak on that day but has had to reschedule his talk. Plans are to have him speak sometime in March, but a date has not yet been determined. Watch this paper for more information as it becomes available.

For questions or more information on NPARL’s 2016 Brownbagger Series, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-9427 or [email protected]


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