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Plant Guide

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Bromus biebersteinii Roemer & J.A. Schultes [excluded]
meadow brome
BRBI2
Cultivar: Fleet

Summary

Duration

 

Growth Habit

Graminoid, Forb/herb

U.S. Nativity

Cultivated, or not in the U.S.

Federal T/E Status

 

National Wetland Indicator

 

 

Morphology/Physiology

Active Growth Period

Spring, Summer, Fall

After Harvest Regrowth Rate

Moderate

Bloat

None

C:N Ratio

Medium

Coppice Potential

No

Fall Conspicuous

No

Fire Resistant

No

Flower Color

Yellow

Flower Conspicuous

No

Foliage Color

Green

Foliage Porosity Summer

Dense

Foliage Porosity Winter

Porous

Foliage Texture

Medium

Fruit/Seed Color

Brown

Fruit/Seed Conspicuous

No

Growth Form

Bunch

Growth Rate

Rapid

Height at 20 Years, Maximum (feet)

 

Height, Mature (feet)

4

Known Allelopath

No

Leaf Retention

No

Lifespan

Moderate

Low Growing Grass

Yes

Nitrogen Fixation

 

Resprout Ability

No

Shape and Orientation

Erect

Toxicity

None

 

Growth Requirements

Adapted to Coarse Textured Soils

Yes

Adapted to Fine Textured Soils

Yes

Adapted to Medium Textured Soils

Yes

Anaerobic Tolerance

Low

CaCO3 Tolerance

Low

Cold Stratification Required

No

Drought Tolerance

Medium

Fertility Requirement

High

Fire Tolerance

High

Frost Free Days, Minimum

120

Hedge Tolerance

None

Moisture Use

Medium

pH, Minimum

5.7

pH, Maximum

8.5

Planting Density per Acre, Minimum

 

Planting Density per Acre, Maximum

 

Precipitation, Minimum

15

Precipitation, Maximum

30

Root Depth, Minimum (inches)

14

Salinity Tolerance

Low

Shade Tolerance

Intolerant

Temperature, Minimum (°F)

-38

 

Reproduction

Bloom Period

Late Spring

Commercial Availability

Routinely Available

Fruit/Seed Abundance

High

Fruit/Seed Period Begin

Summer

Fruit/Seed Period End

Summer

Fruit/Seed Persistence

No

Propagated by Bare Root

No

Propagated by Bulb

No

Propagated by Container

No

Propagated by Corm

No

Propagated by Cuttings

No

Propagated by Seed

Yes

Propagated by Sod

No

Propagated by Sprigs

No

Propagated by Tubers

No

Seed per Pound

86875

Seed Spread Rate

Moderate

Seedling Vigor

High

Small Grain

No

Vegetative Spread Rate

Slow

 

Suitability/Use

Berry/Nut/Seed Product

No

Christmas Tree Product

No

Fodder Product

No

Fuelwood Product

None

Lumber Product

No

Naval Store Product

No

Nursery Stock Product

No

Palatable Browse Animal

Medium

Palatable Graze Animal

High

Palatable Human

No

Post Product

No

Protein Potential

High

Pulpwood Product

No

Veneer Product

No

 

Bromus biebersteinii Roemer & J.A. Schultes [excluded]
meadow brome
BRBI2
Cultivar: Paddock

Summary

Duration

 

Growth Habit

Graminoid, Forb/herb

U.S. Nativity

Cultivated, or not in the U.S.

Federal T/E Status

 

National Wetland Indicator

 

 

Morphology/Physiology

Active Growth Period

Spring, Summer, Fall

After Harvest Regrowth Rate

Moderate

Bloat

None

C:N Ratio

Medium

Coppice Potential

No

Fall Conspicuous

No

Fire Resistant

No

Flower Color

Yellow

Flower Conspicuous

No

Foliage Color

Green

Foliage Porosity Summer

Dense

Foliage Porosity Winter

Porous

Foliage Texture

Medium

Fruit/Seed Color

Brown

Fruit/Seed Conspicuous

No

Growth Form

Bunch

Growth Rate

Rapid

Height at 20 Years, Maximum (feet)

 

Height, Mature (feet)

4

Known Allelopath

No

Leaf Retention

No

Lifespan

Moderate

Low Growing Grass

Yes

Nitrogen Fixation

 

Resprout Ability

No

Shape and Orientation

Erect

Toxicity

None

 

Growth Requirements

Adapted to Coarse Textured Soils

Yes

Adapted to Fine Textured Soils

Yes

Adapted to Medium Textured Soils

Yes

Anaerobic Tolerance

Low

CaCO3 Tolerance

Low

Cold Stratification Required

No

Drought Tolerance

Medium

Fertility Requirement

High

Fire Tolerance

High

Frost Free Days, Minimum

120

Hedge Tolerance

None

Moisture Use

Medium

pH, Minimum

5.7

pH, Maximum

8.5

Planting Density per Acre, Minimum

 

Planting Density per Acre, Maximum

 

Precipitation, Minimum

15

Precipitation, Maximum

30

Root Depth, Minimum (inches)

14

Salinity Tolerance

Low

Shade Tolerance

Intolerant

Temperature, Minimum (°F)

-38

 

Reproduction

Bloom Period

Late Spring

Commercial Availability

Routinely Available

Fruit/Seed Abundance

High

Fruit/Seed Period Begin

Summer

Fruit/Seed Period End

Summer

Fruit/Seed Persistence

No

Propagated by Bare Root

No

Propagated by Bulb

No

Propagated by Container

No

Propagated by Corm

No

Propagated by Cuttings

No

Propagated by Seed

Yes

Propagated by Sod

No

Propagated by Sprigs

No

Propagated by Tubers

No

Seed per Pound

86875

Seed Spread Rate

Moderate

Seedling Vigor

High

Small Grain

No

Vegetative Spread Rate

Slow

 

Suitability/Use

Berry/Nut/Seed Product

No

Christmas Tree Product

No

Fodder Product

No

Fuelwood Product

None

Lumber Product

No

Naval Store Product

No

Nursery Stock Product

No

Palatable Browse Animal

Medium

Palatable Graze Animal

High

Palatable Human

No

Post Product

No

Protein Potential

High

Pulpwood Product

No

Veneer Product

No

 

Bromus biebersteinii Roemer & J.A. Schultes [excluded]
meadow brome
BRBI2
Cultivar: Regar

Summary

Duration

 

Growth Habit

Graminoid, Forb/herb

U.S. Nativity

Cultivated, or not in the U.S.

Federal T/E Status

 

National Wetland Indicator

 

 

Morphology/Physiology

Active Growth Period

Spring, Summer, Fall

After Harvest Regrowth Rate

Moderate

Bloat

None

C:N Ratio

Medium

Coppice Potential

No

Fall Conspicuous

No

Fire Resistant

No

Flower Color

Yellow

Flower Conspicuous

No

Foliage Color

Green

Foliage Porosity Summer

Dense

Foliage Porosity Winter

Porous

Foliage Texture

Medium

Fruit/Seed Color

Brown

Fruit/Seed Conspicuous

No

Growth Form

Bunch

Growth Rate

Rapid

Height at 20 Years, Maximum (feet)

 

Height, Mature (feet)

4

Known Allelopath

No

Leaf Retention

No

Lifespan

Moderate

Low Growing Grass

Yes

Nitrogen Fixation

 

Resprout Ability

No

Shape and Orientation

Erect

Toxicity

None

 

Growth Requirements

Adapted to Coarse Textured Soils

Yes

Adapted to Fine Textured Soils

Yes

Adapted to Medium Textured Soils

Yes

Anaerobic Tolerance

Low

CaCO3 Tolerance

Low

Cold Stratification Required

No

Drought Tolerance

Medium

Fertility Requirement

High

Fire Tolerance

High

Frost Free Days, Minimum

130

Hedge Tolerance

None

Moisture Use

Medium

pH, Minimum

5.6

pH, Maximum

8.4

Planting Density per Acre, Minimum

 

Planting Density per Acre, Maximum

 

Precipitation, Minimum

14

Precipitation, Maximum

30

Root Depth, Minimum (inches)

14

Salinity Tolerance

Low

Shade Tolerance

Intolerant

Temperature, Minimum (°F)

-38

 

Reproduction

Bloom Period

Late Spring

Commercial Availability

Routinely Available

Fruit/Seed Abundance

High

Fruit/Seed Period Begin

Summer

Fruit/Seed Period End

Summer

Fruit/Seed Persistence

No

Propagated by Bare Root

No

Propagated by Bulb

No

Propagated by Container

No

Propagated by Corm

No

Propagated by Cuttings

No

Propagated by Seed

Yes

Propagated by Sod

No

Propagated by Sprigs

No

Propagated by Tubers

No

Seed per Pound

86875

Seed Spread Rate

Moderate

Seedling Vigor

High

Small Grain

No

Vegetative Spread Rate

Slow

 

Suitability/Use

Berry/Nut/Seed Product

No

Christmas Tree Product

No

Fodder Product

Yes

Fuelwood Product

None

Lumber Product

No

Naval Store Product

No

Nursery Stock Product

No

Palatable Browse Animal

Medium

Palatable Graze Animal

High

Palatable Human

No

Post Product

No

Protein Potential

High

Pulpwood Product

No

Veneer Product

No

 

Kingdom  Plantae -- Plants

Subkingdom  Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants

Superdivision  Spermatophyta -- Seed plants

Division  Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants

Class  Liliopsida -- Monocotyledons

Subclass  Commelinidae

Order  Cyperales

Family  Poaceae -- Grass family

Genus  Bromus L. -- brome P

Species  Bromus biebersteinii Roemer & J.A. Schultes [excluded] -- meadow brome P

 

Alternate Names
Bromus erectus, Bromus riparius
 
Uses

Grazing/Hayland: The primary use of meadow brome is for forage production.  It is used for pasture, hay and haylage. It is highly palatable to all classes of livestock and wildlife.  Meadow brome is one of the best forage grasses for use in the Northwestern states under intensive rotational grazing systems.

 

Erosion control: Because of its dense network of roots, meadow brome provides good erosion control on those soils to which it is adapted. Rhizomes of meadow brome are much shorter than those of smooth brome. Because of this, smooth brome is commonly a better choice for erosion control plantings.

 

Wildlife: Meadow brome is used in grass-legume mixes for nesting, broad rearing, escape and winter cover in upland wildlife and conservation plantings. It is excellent forage for big game animals and waterfowl, particularly geese.

 

Status

Consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

 

Description

Grass Family (Poaceae).  Meadow brome is native to southwestern Asia near Turkey. It is a long-lived, rapid developing, leafy, introduced, cool season grass that spreads by short rhizomes. The numerous long, light-green leaves are dominantly basal, lax, and mildly pubescent. The numerous erect stems appear earlier in the growing season than smooth brome. The awned florets are produced in large, terminal panicles. The presence of awns, hairy leaves and stems, and lack of aggressive rhizomes can distinguish meadow brome from smooth brome. When grown under irrigation, it can reach 2-6 feet in height. It is very productive in close spaced, one-foot rows.  Meadow brome is not invasive. Meadow brome has 93,000 seeds per pound.

 

Adaptation

Meadow brome can be grown under dryland conditions in 14+ inch annual precipitation regions of the foothills, mountains and irrigated areas throughout the West.  Areas of greatest adaptability in the West are the sagebrush-grass, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa pine, aspen and Douglas fir communities. Meadow brome is one of the earliest species to initiate growth in the spring and makes tremendous growth during cool conditions.  Due to deep roots and tiller base, it is capable of strong summer growth and regrowth following grazing or haying.  It makes rapid recovery following mowing or grazing even during the hot periods of the year.

 

Unlike meadow brome, smooth brome regrowth initiates from its crown and thus never achieves rapid recovery or regrowth following grazing or haying. Smooth brome does not grow well under hot summer temperatures.

 

Rhizomes of meadow brome are much shorter than smooth brome resulting in fewer problems with stands becoming sodbound, which is common in smooth brome.

 

Meadow brome is very winter hardy. It produces well in areas with spring frost such as high mountain valleys. In areas with significant spring frost and little snow cover, meadow brome is a much better species selection than orchardgrass.

 

Meadow brome performs well on soil textures ranging from shallow to deep, coarse gravely to medium textured, well to moderately well drained, and moderately acidic to weakly saline to alkali. It performs best on fertile, moderately deep to deep, well-drained soils. It does not grow well in saline soils and wet areas with high water tables.  It is also sensitive to flooding and commonly dies if inundated for more than 10 days. It has the ability to establish and persist in areas that receive as little as 14 inches of annual precipitation, but performs best with 16 inches or more rainfall or irrigation.  It prefers full sun, but will tolerate semi-shady areas or areas with reduced light.

 

In an Alberta, Canada yield trial meadow brome had impressive pasture-hay yield performance:

 

Species                 Cultivar                 Yield (lbs/ac.)         

Meadow brome    Regar                      10810 (5.4 ton)

                             Fleet                          10684 (5.3 ton)

                             Paddock                    10442 (5.2 ton)

Smooth brome     Manchar                 8665   (4.3 ton)

Orchardgrass        ---------                    8709   (4.4 ton)

Meadow foxtail    Garrison                  9177   (4.6 ton)

 

* Fertilized after each cutting for an annual average of 220 lb/ac N and 55 lb/ac P

 

The forage yields of the meadow brome releases in this study are not significantly different. These yields may be an indicator of production under irrigated conditions. Average yields under dryland conditions are estimated to be about 50 percent of those listed above.

 

Establishment

A clean, firm, weed-free seedbed is recommended.  Dry land and erosion control seedings should be made in the late fall or very early spring when soil moisture is not limited.  Irrigated seedings should be made in early to mid spring. On dryland, do not seed later than May 15th or a failure may occur because of drought and hot summer conditions before the grass is well established.  A deep furrow or double disc drill with press wheels may be used. Meadow brome does not flow uniformly through a drill unless it is diluted with rice hulls or other dilutent.  For dryland and irrigated land a seeding rate of 10 pounds Pure Live Seed (PLS) per acre is recommended (20 seeds per square foot).  If broadcast or planted for critical area treatment, double the seeding rate to 20 pounds PLS per acre or 40 seeds PLS per square foot.  Meadow brome is very compatible with legumes such as alfalfa, cicer milkvetch, birdsfoot trefoil, sainfoin, and clover species. When planting with legumes, alternate row planting is recommended due to differences in seedling vigor. Use 6 to 8 pounds PLS of meadow brome seed per acre when planting in alternate rows with a legume.  Adjustments in seeding rate should be made when seeding in mixtures.  Seeding depth should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch. 

 

When seeding for seed increase, seed should be treated with a fungicide (most seed company's can treat seed) to reduce potential head smut problems common in bromes. Irrigated seed production plantings should be in at least 24-inch rows and preferably 36-inch rows.  Seed at 4.5 to 5 pounds per acre.  Dryland seed yields are commonly 150 to 200 pounds Pure Live Seed per acre and irrigated seed yields are commonly 450 to 600 pounds Pure Live Seed per acre.  Seed matures fairly evenly and is ready for harvest in mid-July to early August. The preferred method of harvest is to windrow crop in the firm dough stage and then combine in about 7 days once seed has matured in windrow.  Direct combining is also acceptable, but the seed crop must be monitored closely and harvested when seed is mature and before seed shatter occurs.  The seed should be dried to 12 percent moisture in bins and 15 percent moisture in sacks before storing.

 

‘Regar’ meadow brome seed production fields are only productive for about two to three seed crops and seed production beyond 2 to three years are normally not economical. Proper row culture (tillage) and ripping may help to extend the stands productive life.  ‘Fleet’, ‘Paddock’, ‘Montana’, and ‘MacBeth’ releases were selected for a longer seed production life and higher seed production the third production year compared to ‘Regar’.

 

Management

Under dryland conditions the new planting should not be grazed until late summer or fall of the second growing season. The plants may be severely damaged or pulled out by overgrazing especially in the seedling year due to poorly rooted seedlings. Under irrigated conditions the new planting should not be grazed until late summer or fall of the first growing season.  Meadow brome establishes roots very slowly and plants may be severely damaged by grazing too soon. Harvesting for hay during the establishment year will be most beneficial to eliminate grazing damage.

 

Do not graze in the spring until forage is 8 to 12 inches high and remove animals from pasture when 3 to 4 inch stubble height remains. A 3 to 4 week rest period between grazing is recommended. Use no more than 60% of the annual growth during the winter season or 50% during the growing season.  This plant responds well to rotation-deferred grazing systems.  To maintain long-lived stands, the grass should be allowed to periodically mature and produce seed for continuation of the stand.

 

Meadow brome responds very well to good fertility management.  One strategy to even out the forage production is to fertilize the stand after the first and second cutting or grazing periods to boost late spring and summer production.  Apply fertilizer based on soil tests. Fertilizer nutrient rates need to be balanced rates of nitrogen and phosphorus to maintain optimum stands of grasses and legumes. Nitrogen will favor the grass while phosphorus will favor the legume.

 

Forage production can be restored and stands may benefit from ripping if sodbound conditions occur.  Care should be taken to avoid excessive tillage because stands may be damaged.

 

Pests and Potential Problems

Silvertop and head smut are the most common problems in brome grass seed production. Meadow brome seed should be treated with a labeled fungicide if planting is intended for seed production to avoid head smut problems.

 

Seed shatter is also a common seed production problem that can be avoided by windrowing the field, curing seed in the swath for 5-7 days, and then combining the seed.

 

Although hybridization with smooth brome can be obtained under controlled greenhouse crosses, hybrids appear not to occur under field conditions due to an earlier (6-10 days) flowering period for meadow brome.

 

Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials

Foundation and Registered seed is available through the appropriate state Crop Improvement Association or commercial sources to grow certified seed.

 

‘Fleet’ meadow brome was developed by the Agriculture Canada Research Station, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and it was released in 1987.  Fleet was formed as a synthetic of plants from Eurasian sources including Regar.  Fleet is similar to Regar in having a restricted creeping root habit and abundant basal leaves.  Fleet also has varying degrees of pubescence similar to Regar.  Regrowth following clipping or grazing and fall greenness are also similar to Regar.  Forage yields are also similar to Regar, but Fleet may produce higher seed yields

 

‘MacBeth PVP’ (pending) meadow brome was developed at Montana State University and released as a public cultivar under PVP, Title V option in 2001. MacBeth has similar forage yields to Regar, Fleet and Paddock, with a slight yield advantage in Montana dryland trials. A major advantage for MacBeth is its excellent seed yield potential. At three test locations, MacBeth averaged 135 percent higher seed yields than Regar in the third year of production.

 

‘Montana PVP’ (pending) meadow brome was developed at Montana State University and licensed exclusively to a private seed company. It is a protected cultivar under PVP, Title V option and was released in 2001. Montana has similar forage yields to Regar, Fleet and Paddock. The major attribute for Montana is its improved seed yield potential over Regar and Paddock. At three test locations, Montana averaged 35 percent high seed yields than Paddock and 167 percent higher seed yields than Regar in the third year of production.

 

‘Paddock’ meadow brome was selected by the Agriculture Canada Research Station, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and released in 1987.  It was developed from and introduction from Krasnodar, USSR in 1969.  Paddock has a similar habit of growth to Regar and Fleet.  Leaves are slightly wider than Regar and forage yields are similar to Fleet and Regar.  Paddock seed yields are greater than Regar seed yields.

 

‘Regar’ meadow brome was selected from a collection made near Zek, in Kars Province in Turkey in 1949 and made available to the Aberdeen Plant Materials Center in 1957 by the USDA Regional Plant Introduction Station.  It was released in 1966 by the Aberdeen, Idaho Plant Materials Center and the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station.  Regar seed germinates readily, seedling vigor is good and seedlings establish rapidly.  Leaves are numerous, dominantly basal, mildly pubescent, and light green.  Seed stalks are erect and extend above the leaf mass in an open panicle.  Regar heads and matures 7 to 10 days earlier than smooth brome.  Regar greens up early in the spring and remains green late into the fall.

 

Prepared By:

Dan Ogle, USDA NRCS Idaho State Office, Boise, Idaho

 

Loren St. John, USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center, Aberdeen, Idaho

 

Larry K. Holzworth, USDA NRCS Montana State Office, Bozeman, Montana

 

Dr. Kevin B. Jensen, USDA ARS Forage and Range Research Laboratory, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

 

Species Coordinator:

Dan Ogle, USDA NRCS Idaho State Office, Boise, Idaho

 

Edited: 16aug02 lsj; 30sept02 lkh; 24jan03 kbj; 3feb03 dgo; 12feb03jsp; 25may06jsp

 

For more information about this and other plants, please contact your local NRCS field office or Conservation District, and visit the PLANTS Web site<http://plants.usda.gov> or the Plant Materials Program Web site <http://Plant-Materials.nrcs.usda.gov>

 

 

Attribution:  U.S. Department of Agriculture 

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