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Seed production of native forbs shows little response to irrigation in a wet year

Posted date: March 19, 2008
Publication Year: 
2007
Authors: Shock, Clinton C.; Feibert, Erik B. G.; Saunders, Lamont D.; Shaw, Nancy L.; DeBolt, Ann
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station. Special Report 1075: 13-20.

Abstract

Native forb seed is needed to restore rangelands of the Intermountain West. Commercial seed production is necessary to provide the quantity of seed needed for restoration efforts. A major limitation to economically viable commercial production of native forb seed is stable and consistent seed productivity over years. Variations in spring rainfall and soil moisture result in highly unpredictable water stress at seed set and development. Excessive water stress during seed set and development is known to compromise yield and quality of other seed crops. Native forbs are not competitive with crop weeds. Both sprinkler and furrow irrigation promote seed production, but risk encouraging weeds. Furthermore, sprinkler and furrow irrigation can lead to the loss of plant stand and seed production to fungal pathogens. By burying drip tapes at 12-inch depth, and avoiding wetting of the soil surface, we hope to assure flowering and seed set without encouraging weeds or opportunistic diseases. This trial tested the effect of three irrigation intensities on the seed yield of seven native forb species.

Citation

Shock, Clinton C.; Feibert, Erik B. G.; Saunders, Lamont D.; Shaw, Nancy; DeBolt, Ann 2007. Seed production of native forbs shows little response to irrigation in a wet year. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station. Special Report 1075: 13-20.