Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



There are 2.5 million acres classified as pasture land in the North James valley area of South Dakota. The area includes all or parts of the counties of Beadle, Brown, Edmonds, Faulk, Hand, Jerauld, McPherson, Sanborn and Spink. The Conservation Needs Study conducted in 1958 and 1959 by these respective counties’ USDA Agencies determined that about 1.6 million acres are in need of some treatment. These needs are classified as follows: (1) Acres needing establishment or reestablishment of vegetation (151,870 acres), (2) Improved cover (302,000 acres), (3) Protection from overgrazing (1,180,300 acres). It is with these first two classifications representing 18 percent of the pasture acres in this north James valley area that are of concern in this study. It may be applicable to the native pasture situation in much of eastern South Dakota. The primary obstacles to resolving these problems are considered to include: (a) The difficulties reported by farmers in establishing stands of tame grasses and legumes once the native sod has been ripped. (2) Those that are climatic such as moisture, heat, drought and winter survival. (c) Soil fertility which may be at such a low level as to reduce seedling vigor. (d) Poor timing of land preparation and seeding. (e) Poor quality seed. (f) The use of unsatisfactory equipment to perform necessary cultural operations. (g) A combination of two or more of these factors. Recognizing these problems, this filed study was undertaken to investigate variables that are consistent to experimental design. It logically divides into seven parts: (1) To compare methods of land preparation which may affect the resulting stands of various tame grasses and alfalfa. (2) To determine if the usual farm implements found on most James Valley farms are satisfactory for performing the cultural operations necessary to establish stands of various tame grasses and alfalfa. (3) To compare late fall versus early spring cultural practices as to the climatic effects that may contribute to the success or failure of stand establishment. (4) To determine the suitability of a specific grassland drill for interseeding tame grasses and legumes into native sod without destroying all of the existing vegetation. (5) To compare the relative ease of establishing stands of the commonly grown tame grasses; Bromus inermus, Agropyron desertorum and Agropyron intermedium; each in combination with the new pasture type alfalfa commonly known as the Teton variety. (6) To determine the contribution of a commercial mixed mineral fertilizer (20-52-0), at a rate of 100 pounds per acre, may make to the resulting stands. (7) To determine the extent that grassy and broadleaf weeds will emerge to compete with the seeded grasses and alfalfa.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Revegetation -- South Dakota
Alfalfa -- South Dakota
Grazing districts -- South Dakota
Pastures -- South Dakota
James River Valley (S.D.)


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages