Rangeland and pasture improvements for southeastern North Dakota
Document Type: Thesis
Author(s): Michael P. Huffington
Publication Year: 2011

Cataloging Information

  • Bromus inermis
  • fire
  • grassland
  • grazing
  • Great Plains
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • North Dakota
  • pasture
  • patch burn grazing
  • Poa pratensis
  • rangeland
  • smooth brome
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 12, 2015
FRAMES Record Number: 17975


Degraded pasture and rangelands are becoming increasingly present in southeastern North Dakota and throughout the Northern Great Plains. Problems associated with degraded pasture and rangelands include loss of biodiversity, increased invasive species, reduced forage quality for cattle, loss of wildlife habitat, and reduced soil stability when compared to a healthy, functioning native prairie ecosystem. In an attempt to reverse this trend, three studies were conducted looking at a variety of different management techniques, all aimed to improve the overall health of degraded pasture and rangelands in southeastern North Dakota. The first study analyzed burn season and frequency, replicated in both grazed and ungrazed plots, to determine the most effective burning treatment for the control and reduction of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and smooth brome (Bromus inermis). At this point in the study there have only been two seasons of data collected, but initial results indicate that summer burning, regardless of frequency, is the most effective treatment at reducing Kentucky bluegrass cover. Smooth brome cover has not been reduced using any of the treatments except grazing, resulting in a reduction of its cover compared to ungrazed. The second study was an interseeding trial that analyzed a variety of different pre-seeding treatments including burning, herbicide, seeding only, and a burn herbicide combination. This was the initial year of the trial so results were limited to seedling establishment. Herbicide treatment, both in combination with burning and as a single treatment, resulted in the highest overall seedling establishment, but overall ll1 treatment success cannot be determined without additional years of community level data. The third and final study analyzed the impact of a patch burn grazing system on disturbed northern tall grass rangeland. At this point in the study, findings have not indicated a plant community level change under the patch burn grazing management system, but above average moisture may be contributing to the subdued results.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (79 KB (abstract only); pdf)
Huffington, Michael P. 2011. Rangeland and pasture improvements for southeastern North Dakota. Master of Science. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University. 71 p.