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Perennial grasses thrive following granular NutraFix treatment 14 months earlier at this private ranch pasture. Compare to the adjacent untreated pasture (next photo)
Perennial grasses grasses were difficult to find in this part of the pasture where the NutraFix treatment was not applied. Compare to treated pasture photo (previous photo)
Perennial grasses struggle at this rangeland site in northern UT where several bunchgrasses, showy milkweed, scarlet globemallow, broom snakeweed and sagebrush struggle to compete against an ocean of cheatgrass.
Researchers at this northern UT site have been experimenting with herbicides to control annual grasses, however after application sites have become dominated by yellow dandelion (Tragopogon dubius). Perennial grass reestablishment has proven difficult.
NutraFix treatments at this northern UT site have resulted in dense stands of bluebunch wheatgrass one year after treatment. Note string line in foreground where Tragopogon dubius ends at the treatment boundary while perennial grasses thrive inches away where the soil was treated with micronutrient fertilization.
Healthy rangeland soils are commonly a maze of roots fighting for water and nutrients with each species of plant having different rooting geometry and strategy.
Ten months after NutraFix treatment this rangeland site plant community is shifting from annual dominant to perennial dominant. Western wheatgrass is the primary perennial grass observed during monitoring.
Here is an odd grass, Bulbous bluegrass (Poa bulbosa) is the only grass with true bulbs instead of seeds. It is an annual or short-lived perennial that was once seeded for turf, pasture and erosion control. Now considered a rangeland weed, it is increasingly found in disturbed areas or growing in nutrient-depleted soil.
At this treated plot at Wild Horse Island perennial grasses increased in the first growing season from 5% pretreatment to 7% in 2019 (shown) to 22% in the second growing season. Annual grasses decreased during the same period while weedy forbs increased in the first growing season and declined in the second growing season.
Comparison of perennial grass vigor and greenness resulting from treatment 6 months after application in Western Colorado. Photo pair was taken outside the treated plot (left) and inside the treated plot (right). Photo Credit: Danielle Bilyeu Johnston
Small experimental plot 6 months after micronutrient fertilizer application in Western Colorado. Plot was treated in fall 2019, photo taken spring 2020. Photo Credit: Danielle Bilyeu Johnston
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