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ENHANCING CRP WITH NATIVE SPECIES: P RACTICAL EXPERIENCES KURT MERG WDFW WDFWfor MEL ASHER and JERRY BENSON BFI Native Seeds, Moses Lake, Washington.

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Presentation on theme: "ENHANCING CRP WITH NATIVE SPECIES: P RACTICAL EXPERIENCES KURT MERG WDFW WDFWfor MEL ASHER and JERRY BENSON BFI Native Seeds, Moses Lake, Washington."— Presentation transcript:

1 ENHANCING CRP WITH NATIVE SPECIES: P RACTICAL EXPERIENCES KURT MERG WDFW WDFWfor MEL ASHER and JERRY BENSON BFI Native Seeds, Moses Lake, Washington

2 Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Goals: – Protect Soil – Protect Water – Provide Habitat for Wildlife

3 Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

4

5 Wildlife Value has lagged Soil & Water Value – Little variety – Low value to wildlife

6 Diversity: Key to Wildlife Value Structure and Species Long-lasting Diversity Native species

7 Diversification Improve habitat for wildlife – Sage-grouse broods use areas rich in forbs (Drut et al. 1994; Apa 1998) – Forbs contributed 20 to 50% to the diet of pre- laying sage-grouse hens (Barnett and Crawford 1994) – Sharp-tailed grouse use areas that contain a high diversity of forbs and bunchgrasses (Hart et al. 1950, Klott and Lindzey 1989, Meints 1991)

8 Background Methods developed by WDFW/BLM/BFI “trial and error” converting CRP plantings to native species CRP was typically crested wheatgrass or other introduced grasses, and invasive annuals Approach requires multiple steps and a combination of chemical and mechanical controls Currently in use to convert approx 40,000 acres of CRP in WA for SAFE

9 For Reference Benson, J., R.T. Tveten, M. G. Asher and P.W. Dunwiddie Shrub- Steppe and Grassland Restoration Manual for the Columbia River Basin

10 Methods 1.Site Preparation – Adaptive Process used to accomplish the following goals: Control of existing vegetation Depletion of weed seed bank Preparation of seed bed for planting

11 Mowing Rotary Blade Mower Timing – Summer following seed shatter

12 Harrowing Light tillage with a heavy spring-tine harrow Timing - Fall

13 Chemical Fallow Mid-Spring Heavy Glyphosate (6-8 inches tall) Mid-Spring Heavy Glyphosate (6-8 inches tall) 3.3 kg a.i. / ha Glyphosate (3 qt/ac Round-Up Pro) with AMS and NIS 3.3 kg a.i. / ha Glyphosate (3 qt/ac Round-Up Pro) with AMS and NIS

14 Deep Tillage Some CRP species and dense crested wheatgrass may require tillage for better control Some CRP species and dense crested wheatgrass may require tillage for better control Breaks up sod, exposes rhizomes Breaks up sod, exposes rhizomes Sweep-chisel or moldboard plow Sweep-chisel or moldboard plow One week following heavy mid-spring herbicide application One week following heavy mid-spring herbicide application Tillage is typically following by harrowing Tillage is typically following by harrowing

15 Chemical Fallow Summer 1.1 kg a.i. / ha Glyphosate (1 qt/ac Round-Up Pro) kg a.i. / ha Dicamba (2-3 oz/ac) with AMS and NIS 1.1 kg a.i. / ha Glyphosate (1 qt/ac Round-Up Pro) kg a.i. / ha Dicamba (2-3 oz/ac) with AMS and NIS

16 Ready to Plant… Fall Glyphosate Fall Glyphosate 0.5 kg a.i. ha / kg (1 pt/ac Round-Up Pro) with AMS and NIS 0.5 kg a.i. ha / kg (1 pt/ac Round-Up Pro) with AMS and NIS

17 Seeding Dormant seeding with TruAx Flex II Seeding depth ranges from ¼ - ½ inches

18 Grass Seed Mixes Grass SpeciesEco-TypesLbs / Acre Bluebunch WheatgrassDuffy Creek/Hawk Creek5 Idaho FescueTouchet/Tucannon3 Sandberg BluegrassSprague1.6 Prairie JunegrassZumwalt1 TOTAL10.6 Grass SpeciesEco-TypesLbs/Acre Bluebunch wheatgrassWahluke3.6 Sandberg's bluegrassFrenchman Hills1.6 Indian ricegrassNezpar1.4 Bottlebrush squirreltailYakama1.1 Thickspike wheatgrassSchwendimar1.4 TOTAL9

19 Spring After Grass Planting

20 Timing – Later spring – 50% of rosettes are 2-3 inches MCPA and Bromoxynil – Add mild SU like Express for purple mustard control

21 Spring After Grass Planting

22 Post-Plant Cheatgrass Control – Prior to seeded species emergence 0.25 kg a.i. / ha (8 oz/acre Round-Up Pro) + AMS and NIS – Just after seeded species emergence 0.1 kg a.i. / ha (3-4 oz/acre Round-Up Pro)

23 Summer After Grass Planting Depending spring rain, a follow-up application or mowing is often required to control weed flushes

24 Forb Inter-seeding Forbs are drilled the fall after grass seeding Forbs are drilled the fall after grass seeding

25 Forb Seed Mixes Forb Species EcotypesLbs/Ac Arrowleaf balsamrootSpokane River0.8 Silky lupineSpokane River0.4 Threadleaf fleabaneDuffy Creek0.2 Nineleaf biscuitrootColumbia Basin0.3 Lewis’ flaxColumbia0.8 Sulfur buckwheat0.4 Western YarrowMethow0.1 TOTAL3 Forb SpeciesEcotypesLbs/ac Big sagebrushColumbia Basin0.2 Arrowleaf balsamrootRed Mountain0.5 Shaggy fleabane daisyDuffy Creek0.2 Creamy buckwheatDuffy Creek0.2 Lewis’ flaxColumbia0.2 Nineleaf biscuitrootColumbia Basin0.2 Silky lupineColumbia Basin0.3 Tapertip Hawksbeard0.2 TOTAL2

26 Follow-Up Weed Control Spot spraying Mowing

27 Three Years Post Seeding

28 Long-Term Success

29 Notes on Forb/Shrub Inter-seeding Species readily established by seed include: Species readily established by seed include: Fleabane daisies Fleabane daisies Balsamroot Balsamroot Yarrow Yarrow Silky lupine Silky lupine Lewis’ flax Lewis’ flax Sagebrush Sagebrush

30 Estimated Cost Per Acre in SAFE TREATMENT Per Acre Cost Summer mowing$18 Fall harrowing$12 Spring Spraying (Chemical + Application)$27 Summer sweep chisel$14 Summer Spraying (Chemical + Application)$17 Year 1 Planting (Grass seed + Drill Seeding)$ Spring Spraying (Chemical + Application)$17 Year 2 Planting (Forb/Shrub Seed + Drill Seeding)$120+

31 Summary Involves a multi-year, adaptive process Site preparation takes approx 15 months, and involves at least 4 steps Seedbed depletion is critical Staged plantings are current method

32 But, stay tuned…

33


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