NDSU Extension - Williams County


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New Wheat Grass - Wheat Grower Meeting

Published December 14, 2014
New Wheat Grass - Wheat Grower Meeting

Intermediate Wheatgrass

New Wheatgrass

 One of the grasses used in grass seed mixtures is intermediate wheatgrass.  The reason for its use in such mixtures is because of its vigor, ability to grow fast and sod forming characteristic.  It produces an abundance of both basal and stem leaves.  Of the many varieties, they will differ in the amount of pubescence on the seed head and leaves.

The pubescent varieties are reported to be more drought-tolerant and form a sod more rapidly than intermediate varieties.  This species has produced more biomass than most other cool-season species in performance trials in North Dakota.

Like most other things, there is a downside.  Productivity quickly declines with close grazing or grazed past August 1st.  Intermediate wheatgrass is often used in seed mixtures for wildlife habitat.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Plant Materials Center near Bismarck recently released a new variety of intermediate wheatgrass name Manifest.  Foundation seed for increase is available from the Bismarck headquarters and commercial seed for establishing pasture and hayland can be purchased from vendors. 

According to the plant breeders it is easy to establish and more productive than many other grasses.

“Manifest intermediate wheatgrass is a better grass variety choice for grazing or haying on many sites”, according to Wayne Duckwitz, manager of the Plant Materials Center.  He feels Manifest can also be used as a single species forage or in mixtures with other species.

 Manifest has erect stems with a heavy growth of bluish-colored basal leaves and by mid-summer, its height reaches three to four feet.  Like other varieties, it is a cool-season grass, so most of its growth is produced in the spring and fall.

One of the pluses for Manifest is its high shoot replacement ratio, those being able to withstand heavier grazing than other varieties.

Manifest is considered to be more drought resistant that smooth bromegrass but less than crested wheatgrass.  For maximum production, areas with at least 14 inches of annual rainfall and well-drained soils are preferred.  Because other varieties service and do well in this area, Manifest seems to be worth a try.


Wheat Grower Meeting

A grower meeting “Putting the Profit Back in Your Crop” is scheduled Thursday, December 16, at 1:00pm in the conference room of the Broadway Commons building located across from the new law enforcement center in Williston.

Topics to be addressed are Maximum Economic Yields; fertilizer recommendations, fertilizer additives, and soil amendments; and a crop market outlook.

Featured speakers are Shana Pederson, NDSU Area Extension Specialist in Cropping Systems; Chris Augustin, NDSU Extension Area Soil Health; and Frayne Olson, NDSU Extension Crop Marketing Economist.

The meeting will come to us via interactive video broadcast from Minot.

-Warren Froelich

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