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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Establishing native warm-season grasses using conventional and no-till technology with various applications of Plateau herbicide
Year: 2002
Author(s): Harper, C. A., Morgan, G. D., Dixon, C. E.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 63-70
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Native warm-season grasses (NWSG) provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species associated with early successional habitats. Efforts to establish these grasses have not always been successful. We sowed big bluestem, little bluestem, indiangrass, and switchgrass; each at 8 pounds PLS per acre in separate, replicate plots using conventional tillage with top-sowing and no-till technology to compare establishment success at 2 locations in Tennessee. Further, we evaluated the effectiveness of Plateau herbicide ( 8 oz per acre pre-emergence) with both planting methods in a split-plot design. More big bluestem (12.9: 3.8 per m2), little bluestem (8.1: 2.8 per m2) and indaingrass (15.5 : 4.5 per m2) seedlings were established when planted via no-till than by top-sowing (P< 0.0001) at 1 location; however, there was no difference in number of seedlings established at the other site. In a follow-up study using conventional tillage and irrigation, we compared pre- and post-emergence applications of Plateau at 8 and 12-ounce rates on big bluestem, little bluestem, indiangrass, switchgrass and sideoats grama which were top-sown at 10 PLS. Both pre-emergence applications of Plateau eliminated competition by various annual grasses and forbs on all plots, but also reduced the number of switchgrass seedlings. However, even when reduced by Plateau, adequate cover remained for wildlife in the switchgrass plots (1-2 bunches per m2). When sowing big and little bluestem and indiangrass, we recommended an 8-oz pre-emergence application of Plateau. If sown for wildlife habitat, a rate of 4-6 pounds PLS should create favorable structure at ground level for upland gamebirds, rabbits, and several species of songbirds. When sowing NWSG for forage, a rate of 10 lbs PLS should establish a suitable stand. If adequate moisture is available and seed are not planted too deep, both top-sowing and no-till drilling can be used to establish NWSG successfully.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall