The University of Arizona

Halogeton grazing management: historical perspective.

J.A. Young


Halogeton [Halogeton glomeratus (Bieb.) C. A. Mey], is a fleshy, annual, herbaceous species that was accidentally introduced into the western U.S. during the 20th century. Because it is highly poisonous to sheep (Ovis aries), this rather diminutive herb became the center of attention for biological research on Intermountain rangelands during the 1950s. Grazing management for halogeton involves procedures to prevent accidental poisoning of the grazing animals, and management to encourage the density and vigor of competing perennial vegetation to biologically suppress halogeton. Halogeton became most abundant in salt desert rangelands and the lower elevation portions of the sagebrush (Artemisia)/bunchgrass zone. In the sagebrush zone the introduced perennial crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fisher) Schultes] was widely planted to both suppress halogeton and to provide alternative forage for livestock. In the salt deserts, the management of native chenopod shrubs was the key to suppressing halogeton. The key species in salt deserts was the highly preferred semi-woody species winterfat [Krascheninnikova lanata (Pursh) A. D. J. Meeuse &Smit]. In many parts of the Intermountain region, halogeton has declined in importance because of the reduced importance of the range sheep industry and improved range condition. In the south central Great Basin, halogeton is still considered a serious problem.



interspecific competition;salt tolerance;deserts;Halogeton glomeratus;controlled grazing;poisonous weeds;Agropyron desertorum;invasion;Krascheninnikovia lanata;sheep;range management;introduced species;plant competition

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