Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science


Even though native range forages have been available a long time, there is little research data concerning the specific grasses characterized as native forage or browse. Little research has been done to study these forages because of their natural habitat far from research laboratories, the task of collecting enough forage for adequate sample testing, and sparse yet hardy existence and questionable known vegetative growth with each year's different climate and environmental conditions. Certainly it seems logical that at some future time the knowledge of their nutritive value will become important. Perhaps then with adequate management the rancher can improve upon native grasses he already has or the grass breeder can use the knowledge to his advantage to breed a desirable characteristic into a new grass variety. Two warm season grasses, blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and prairie sandreed (Calamovilfa lonizifqlia), and two cool season grasses needle and thread (Stipa comata) and threadleaf sedge (Carex filifolia) were studied. Samples of the grasses were collected throughout the 1968 growing season at the Antelope Range Field Station in northwestern South Dakota. The research undertaken had the following objectives: 1. To characterize range grasses by analysis of the components cellulose, acid-detergent fiber, acid-detergent lignin, dry matter digestibility, protein, holocellulose, hemicellulose, neutral sugar an uronic sugar content. 2. To study comparative composition of the various grasses at different cutting dates. 3. To give special emphasis to any comparative differences between cool and warm season grasses. All comparisons in this study centered largely on fibrous carbohydrates and the components closely associated with them.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Blue gramma grass



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University