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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 94 No. 4, p. 792-797
    Received: Mar 15, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): lmlaur@nmsu.edu
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Irrigation and Nitrogen Effects on Tall Wheatgrass Yield in the Southern High Plains

  1. Leonard M. Lauriault *a,
  2. Rex E. Kirkseya and
  3. Gary B. Donartb
  1. a Agric. Sci. Cent. at Tucumcari, New Mexico State Univ., 6502 Quay Rd. AM.5, Tucumcari, NM 88401
    b Dep. of Anim. and Range Sci., Box 30003 MSC 3-I, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003


Winter months in the Southern High Plains of the USA have the lowest precipitation. As a result, producers using tall wheatgrass [Agropyron elongatum (Host) Beauv.] may get higher production in the spring and possibly throughout the growing season with additional irrigation. Also, growers need information about interactions between soil moisture and N fertilizer to maximize productivity. In a split-plot study conducted at the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari from 1997 to 1999, tall wheatgrass furrow-irrigated monthly from April to September was irrigated once, twice, or not irrigated during winter as the whole-plot treatment. For subplot treatments, tall wheatgrass annually received 168 kg N ha−1 split into two, three, or four equal applications. Tall wheatgrass irrigated in the winter yielded more dry matter (DM) over the 3 yr than unirrigated tall wheatgrass (11.72, 12.10, and 13.55 Mg ha−1 for tall wheatgrass not irrigated, irrigated once, or irrigated twice, respectively). Tall wheatgrass fertilized three or four times outyielded tall wheatgrass fertilized twice (11.08, 12.85, and 13.44 Mg ha−1 for two, three, and four N applications, respectively). No interaction occurred between the irrigation and N treatments. A year × harvest × N effect existed in which a mid-December N application, preceded and followed by precipitation, produced approximately 1 Mg ha−1 more DM than unfertilized tall wheatgrass in the first harvest the following year. Both supplemental winter irrigation and N application scheduling offer opportunities for tall wheatgrass producers to increase production in the Southern High Plains of the USA.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of AgronomyPublished in Agron. J.94:792–797.