Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science


One of the problems confronting the range administrator or ranch manager in making sound grazing management decisions is lack of detailed knowledge about the growth and development of herbage grasses. It is important to know how the desirable grass species in a particular area will respond to the time and frequency of harvesting in order to formulate a grazing management plan that will permit maximum sustained livestock production while maintaining or improving the species composition and the vigor of the important forage plants. Taller and more palatable grasses are replaced by shorter grasses as grazing intensity is increased; thus, foliage production per acre is reduced. Knowledge of the patterns of growth and development of the key management species at various times throughout the growing season is important in the preparation of a grazing management plan. The objectives of the study conducted at the Cottonwood Range Field Station and reported herein were to determine (1) the effect of range site and range condition on: time of shoot emergence, shoot length and leaf number, rate of length increase and leaf development, proportions of shoots producing seedstalks, shoot and leaf condition at various observation dates, height and location of the apical meristem, and total available carbohydrate (TAC) concentration in rhizomes of western wheatgrass; and (2) to determine the effect of emergence date within each site or range condition, and seedstalk production.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Crested wheatgrass




South Dakota State University