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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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A Provisional Model for Smooth Brome
Management in Degraded Tallgrass Prairie


Before applying this model in tallgrass prairie and pasture, managers need to inventory sites selected for smooth brome management to determine species composition. In situations where smooth brome is the dominant species and warm-season tall grasses are absent, or nearly so, burning will have no long-term negative effect on smooth brome and may further degrade the site by increasing smooth brome. In this situation, applying herbicide at an active stage of smooth brome growth followed by sod-seeding warm-season tall grasses may be an effective restoration treatment. Where competing warm-season tall grasses such as big bluestem are present, managers need to monitor smooth brome tiller development to determine when smooth brome tillers are elongating. In this situation, annual burns after tiller emergence, but before tiller elongation, begins, may result in a progressive decline in smooth brome. However, burning smooth brome during tiller elongation provides the most immediate and persistent reduction in both tiller density and biomass.
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