U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Journal Of Range Management 43(6), November 1990


Sand bluestem [Andropogon gerardii var. paucipilus (Nash) Fern,] and prairie sandreed (Calamovitfa longifolia Hook.) are native warm-season grasses used to revegetate cropland and degraded rangeland on highly erodible sandy soils in the central Great Plains. The objectives of this study were to compare establishment success of the 2 grasses and to determine if application of atrazine at time of planting enhanced grass establishment. Eight plantings, including 'Goldstrike' and 'Garden' sand bluestem and 'Goshen' and 'Pronghorn' prairie sandreed, were made from 1985 to 1987 at locations in eastern, north central, and western Nebraska. Three plantings were established under irrigation and 5 under dry land conditions. Atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N'-(1-methylethyl)- 1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] was applied at a rate of 2.2 kg a.i./ha at planting at 3 of the dry land sites. Grasses were planted at a rate of 430 pure live seed/M2 in clean tilled seedbeds. Establishment of sand bluestem, as measured by herbage dry matter yield and/or grass frequency, was generally superior to that of prairie sandreed. Goshen prairie sandreed failed to establish adequate stands in 6 of the 8 plantings. Atrazine, applied at time of planting, increased sand bluestem stand frequency on sites with high weed interference but did not affect that of prairie sandreed. Based on these results, sand bluestem should be a dominant component in seed mixtures used to revegetate and stabilize sandy soils in the central Great Plains.