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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 46 No. 5, p. 2033-2040
    Received: Nov 23, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): dphilipp@iastate.edu
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Influence of Irrigation on Mineral Concentrations in Three Old World Bluestem Species

  1. D. Philipp *a,
  2. C. P. Brownb,
  3. V. G. Allenb and
  4. D. B. Westerc
  1. a Agronomy Dep., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011-1010
    b Dep. of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX 79409-2122
    c Dep. of Range, Wildlife, and Fisheries, Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX 79409-2122


Old world bluestems (Bothriochloa spp.) are grown widely in the Texas High Plains under both irrigated and dryland conditions, but little is known regarding their mineral characteristics. Bothriochloa bladhii (Retz), B. ischaemum (L.) Keng. var. ischaemum (Hack.), and B. caucasica (Trin.) were dryland managed and surface drip-irrigated with low, medium, and high irrigation levels from 2001 to 2003. Water applied in the high treatment was 100% replacement of grass reference evapotranspiration minus precipitation. Medium and low treatments were 66 and 33% of the high treatment. Concentrations of P, Al, Fe, S, Cu, Zn, and Mn in plants were greater under dryland than with irrigation. Magnesium and Zn concentration increased while Fe decreased with increasing irrigation. Concentrations of P, Cu, and K were lower at medium irrigation than either high or low irrigation. Overall, effects of irrigation on most minerals were minor. Bothriochloa bladhii was higher in Mg (2.6 g kg−1), K (14.6 g kg−1), Ca (10.0 g kg−1), Al (649 mg kg−1), and Cu (5.2 mg kg−1) concentrations than the other two species. Manganese concentrations increased with increasing irrigation in B. caucasica (44–61 mg kg−1) and ischaemum (57–83 mg kg−1), but not in B. bladhii (average 71 mg kg−1). In general, B. bladhii would provide greater mineral concentrations to grazing animals than either B. caucasica or B. ischaemum, but P, S, Cu, Na, and Zn supplements are likely needed.

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