Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version

March 1983


Published in JOURNAL OF RANGE MANAGEMENT 36(2). March 1983. Copyright 1983. Used by permission.


Individual sand lovegrass [Eragrostis trichodes (Nutt.) Wood.] plants on a choppy sands range site in Nebraska’s Sandhills were clipped with 7 different harvest regimes for 3 years to determine critical defoliation times. After 3 years unclipped plants had the greatest survival rate and plants harvested only once a year on June 10 or July 10 survived better than those with other harvest regimes. Top and root yields, new tiller counts, and total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) levels were all reduced severely with multiple harvests within one year. Sand lovegrass plants cannot tolerate close defoliation at anytime of the year although a single June defoliation appeared to be less detrimental than August defoliation. Sand lovegrass is difficult to manage when it makes up a small component of a pasture. Sand lovegrass will probably persist and yield best in a rotational grazing program where it is defoliated only once a year and some leaf area remains at the close of the grazing period. Plants are normally short lived so they should be managed to allow seed production periodically. A grazing management program necessary to maintain small amounts of sand lovegrass in a mixture may not be practical.