The University of Arizona

Mineral dynamics in forages of the Northern Great Plains.

E.E. Grings, M.R. Haferkamp, R.K. Heitschmidt, M.G. Karl

Abstract


Mineral concentrations of range grasses are often below that required by grazing livestock. Limited information is available on forage mineral concentrations for the Northern Great Plains and there is little data on factors influencing concentrations of forage minerals throughout the year. Therefore, a study was conducted to evaluate special and temporal variations in mineral concentrations of major forage species in the Northern Great Plains. Herbage was sampled from 4 replicates on each of 2 soils in July, August, and September 1991, April, June, July, August, and September 1992, and April 1993. Herbage was sorted by species grouping and by live and dead tissue classes. Analyses on herbage included Ca, P, Mg, K, Na, Zn, Cu, Mn, and Mo. For western wheatgrass [Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) Love] and annual bromes [Bromus spp.], Zn and all macrominerals except Na were greater in live than in dead tissue. Live tissues of all other species groupings contained greater amounts of P and K than did dead tissue. Live tissue Mg concentrations were greater than dead tissue concentrations for other cool-season and warm season grasses. Manganese concentrations were greater in live than dead annual brome tissues, while Cu was greater in dear than live tissue. Dead sedge tissue contained greater concentrations of Ca than live tissue. Soil type affected several nutrient but this was partially related to soil effects upon composition of species groupings and live:dead ratios. Minerals most likely to be found in quantities less than required for animal production were P, Na, K, Zn, and Cu.

Keywords


plant tissues;requirements;silty clay soil;live tissue;dead tissue;silty soils;zinc;Cyperaceae;molybdenum;nutrient deficiencies;Bromus japonicus;mineral content;loam soils;clay soils;rain;sodium;Bromus tectorum;potassium;forbs;phosphorus;magnesium;calcium;Poaceae;Pascopyrum smithii;seasonal variation;Montana;grasses;forage;maturity stage

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