Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in The Prairie Naturalist 28(1): March 1996, pp. 13-20.


Burning and mowing were evaluated in 1989-1991 at Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota, as alternatives to atrazine to suppress smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.) and to affect seeding success of big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman). Atrazine was the only treatment that significantly reduced smooth brome tiller density (-77% 1990; -70% 1991) as compared to unburned controls. Neither burning (-16% 1990; -37% 1991) nor mowing (-16% 1990; +10% 1991) resulted in significant reductions. Sod-seeded big bluestem failed in all treatments in both years. The failure of chemical and non-chemical management to affect sufficient smooth brome control for big bluestem seeding success exemplify the difficulties in restoring native and seeded prairie.