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Contents 



Page 



Introduction 1 

Origin and development 2 

Description 2 

Factors affecting range of adaptation 4 

Temperature 4 

Moisture 5 

Soils 5 

Elevation 5 

Use and management 5 

Stand establishment 6 

Forage production 6 

Pure stands 7 

Grass-legume mixtures 8 

Pasture 8 

Seed production 9 

Management of seed fields 9 

Time of harvest 10 

Method of harvest 11 

Seed processing 11 

Protecting seed during storage 12 

Conservation uses 12 

Stabilization plantings 12 

Plantings on waste disposal areas 12 

Wildlife uses 12 

Literature cited 13 



Issued September 1978 



'Garrison* Creeping Foxtail 



by James R. Stroh, Jesse L.i McWilliams, and Ashley A. Thornburg, plant materials specialists, Soil 

" Conservation Service 



Introduction 

Creeping foxtail (Alopecurus arundinaceus 
Poir.) is a perennial grass native to Eurasia. It 
grows on wet salty soils, on flood plains, along 
rivers and streams, and in bogs from the Arctic to 
Italy, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, possibly China, 
and most frequently in the steppe zones. The east- 
ern limit of adaptation extends into the Lena- 
Kolyma region of Siberia. Creeping foxtail is a 
common plant in western Europe and in the British 
Isles, where it grows in salt meadows on the sea 
coast (Klapp 1952; Rozhevits and Shishkin 1934) 
(fig. 1). It is also known by the pseudonyms creep- 
ing meadow foxtail, reed foxtail, Scotch timothy, 
and German timothy. 



The precise date on which this species was in- 
troduced into the United States is unknown. The 
first plant specimen was received at North Dakota 
State University in 1934 (Stevens 1950), but resi- 
dents of North Dakota report that introductions 
arrived in 1902. 1 Other introductions may have 
arrived before that date. Meadow foxtail (A. pra- 
tensis L.), a related species, was introduced into 
western Wyoming in 188S. 2 

These early introductions were established in 
isolated areas; many increased and spread natu- 
rally. The difficulty of harvesting and replanting 



'Milton K. Higgens, pers. commun., Bismarck, N.D. 1969. 
2 S. G. Sabey, pers. commun., Afton, Wyo. 1962. 




Figure 1. — Natural range of Alopecurus arundinaceus creeping foxtail in Europe, Asia, and Siberia. (Adapted from Klapp and 

Rozhevits and Shishkin.) 



1 



the light, hairy seed of creeping foxtail precluded 
its use by farmers having unsophisticated equip- 
ment. With the development of specialized farm 
and seed-processing machinery and cultural prac- 
tices in the 1930's and 1940's, creeping foxtail be- 
came a domesticated forage crop. 

The impressive performance of creeping foxtail 
was well known in the local areas where it became 
established. Increasing interest in the species 
prompted state and federal agricultural agencies to 
evaluate collections from several sites, as well as 
from foreign sources, in the 1930's. These inves- 
tigations culminated in the cooperative release of 
'Garrison' creeping foxtail by the Soil Conservation 
Service Plant Materials Center, Bismarck, North 
Dakota, and the Wyoming Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station. The popularity and use of Garrison 
for forage, wildlife, and conservation has subse- 
quently spread westward throughout the Rocky 
Mountain region and eastward into New England. 
This publication describes the origin and develop- 
ment, range of adaptation, use and management, 
and performance of Garrison creeping foxtail. 

Origin and Development 

Garrison creeping foxtail originated from a col- 
lection made in 1950 from plants growing at the 
margin of potholes near Max, North Dakota (Han- 
son 1972). These plants escaped from plantings 
made in the area in 1902 from seed introduced from 
the Ukraine region of Russia. 3 

The collection was initially tested as NDG-772 at 
the Soil Conservation Service Plant Materials 
Center, Bismarck, North Dakota. Seed was dis- 
tributed to other centers throughout the United 
States and evaluated under the accession numbers 
MI-5596, NY-1195, BN-8558, and Mich-48. The 
major part of the early testing and development 
work was done in North and South Dakota, Mon- 
tana, and Wyoming. NDG-772 was compared with 
other accessions of this species from western 
Europe, Italy, Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan, as 
well as other commonly available forage species. 
Data from these tests showed that NDG-772 was 
outstanding in forage yield, palatability, total di- 
gestible nutrients (TDN), response to nitrogen 
fertilizer, and range of adaptation. No selections 
were made from within the accession. The resul- 
tant variety is a bulk increase of the original 1950 
collection. 

3 Milton K. Higgens, pers. commun. 1969. 



The variety Garrison was named and released in 
1963. It was named for the Garrison Dam near the 
original collection site. A breeder block of Garrison 
was established in 1960 at the Bismarck Plant Ma- 
terials Center from seed two generations (F 2 ) re- 
moved from the original collection. In 1972 this 
block was cloned and moved to the Bridger, Mon- 
tana, Plant Materials Center to provide a better 
isolation site. Seed of Garrison is increased under 
the limited generation program of breeder/founda- 
tion/certified, wherein the registered class is pro- 
hibited. Certified seed may not be used to establish 
another certified seed production field. 

Description 

Garrison creeping foxtail is a perennial grass 
having dense, vigorous rhizomes. Individual iso- 
lated plants may spread as much as 120 cm in crown 
diameter in a single year. Culms are stout and 
average 90 to 120 cm in height. The numerous 
cauline leaves are flat and broad (6 to 12 mm) and 
have short (1.5 to 2.5 mm), pointed or rounded 
ligules. 




Figure 2. — Closeup of stand of 'Garrison' creeping foxtail 
showing variation in stages of development of inflorescences. 






Figure 3. — Dorsal and lateral views of 'Garrison' creeping 
foxtail seed — dorsal x 20, lateral x 18. Not all seed have an 
awn. (Line drawing by Linda R. Stroh) 



The spikelike inflorescence is cylindrical and 
elongated (5 to 10 cm) (fig. 2). The spikelet is oblong 
urn-shaped, compressed laterally, and has a single 
seed. Glumes are sharply keeled and long-ciliate on 
the keels (fig. 3). Lemmas are glabrous and awnless 
or rarely have a long, exerted, filamentous, and 
often geniculate awn. Most anthers are purple but 
some are yellow or orange. Anthesis, beginning at 
the top of the panicle and proceeding downward, is 
completed in 2 to 5 days. Seed mature in the same 
order in about 40 days. The first seed usually shat- 
ter before the lower ones are fully ripe. Immature 
glumes are first green, then white or light brown, 
and finally black at maturity. Mature glumes gen- 
erally are uniformly black, but occasional late 
frosts, diseases, or insects damage some spikelets, 
interrupt their maturation, and leave them to dry 
to a white or light brown color. 

Flowering is irregular; some plants bloom 20 
days before most of the plants, and others bloom 30 
days after. Unharvested stands that grow where 
moisture is adequate may produce a few flowering 



plants throughout the season. Date of maturation 
depends upon a combination of such factors as 
temperature, moisture, soil type, soil fertility, al- 
titude, and latitude. Garrison, however, is one of 
the earliest maturing of the domesticated grass 
species. For example, at Bridger, Montana (eleva- 
tion 1,146 m; latitude 46° N.), seed is ready for 
harvesting late in June. 

Garrison produces about 750,000 seed per pound. 
Because of the hairiness of the glumes, the seed 
handle much like feathers. Initial seed germination 
exceeds 90 percent. If stored in a cool, dry place, 
the seed is likely to maintain a germinative capacity 
exceeding 70 percent for more than 10 years (Ha- 
fenrichter et al. 1965). 

The species, including the variety Garrison, is 
open pollinated, possibly self sterile, 4 strongly het- 
erozygous, and suspectible to interspecific hybrid- 
ization with A. pratensis (Hanson 1972). The so- 
matic chromosome number is 2N = 28, but super- 
numerary chromosomes of a fragmentary nature 
possibly occur. 

The common name creeping foxtail unfortunately 
has caused some misunderstanding and consterna- 
tion among farmers and ranchers who associate it 
with the weedy grass foxtail barley (Hordeum ju- 
batum L.). Both species are adapted to similar 
environments but are totally different in appear- 
ance and economic value (fig. 4). 

Garrison has been relatively free of damaging 
diseases and insects throughout the range of envi- 
ronments and exposure to vectors where it has 

4 J. L. Schwendiman, pers. commun. 1966. 





Figure 4. — Inflorescences of creeping foxtail, Alopecurus 
arundinaceus, (left) and foxtail barley, Hordeum jubatum, 
(right). Although their common names are similar, the 
plants are strikingly different in appearance. 



3 



Figure 5. — Projected provisional range of 'Garrison' creeping foxtail in North America. 



grown in North America. Leaf spot diseases (pos- 
sibly Colechotricum sp.) have been recorded as a 
potential hazard in Canada 5 in some years. 

Factors Affecting Range of Adaptation 

The extent of Garrison's geographical range of 
adaptation in North America has yet to be fully 
explored. Data resulting from 20 years of field 
testing, however, provide enough information to 
approximate the southern and western limits of 
Garrison in the conterminous United States (fig. 5). 



6 S. G. Bonin, pers. commun. , Dep. Agric, Beaverlodge, 
Alberta. Res. Stn. 1973. 



Temperature 

Temperature is the dominant factor determining 
the broad geographical range. Garrison is best 
adapted to the cooler regions of New England, the 
Lake states, the northern Great Plains, the Rocky 
Mountains, and the intermountain basins of the 
West. These regions are characterized as having 
periodic subzero temperatures in winter and warm 
weather accompanied by occasional hot periods in 
summer. Garrison has not performed well in the 
South and Southeast, where high temperatures 
prevail for long periods, nor in the Mediterranean 
climate of California. It is adapted to the cooler 
maritime climate of the northern Pacific Coast; 
however, other strains of both creeping foxtail and 



f 



meadow foxtail appear to be better adapted to this 
region than Garrison. 

The northern limit of adaptation is less well 
known. The Canada Department of Agriculture 
recently began testing Alopecurus species, includ- 
ing Garrison, in the Prairie provinces. 6 Preliminary 
observations indicate that Garrison is adapted to 
the agricultural areas where the research stations 
are located. Data comparing Garrison with other 
accessions of creeping foxtail and other grass spe- 
cies are forthcoming. 

Evaluations of A. arundinaceus in Alaska, 
begun in the 1930's, show good adaptation and 
performance of the species in the Matanuska Valley 
(Irwin 1945). Recent field plantings of Garrison 
substantiate the results of the early tests. In addi- 
tion, Garrison's range of adaptation has been ex- 
tended northward. Its performance on wet and 
flooded permafrost soils near Fairbanks has been 
outstanding in comparison with that of smooth 
brome (Bromus inermis Leyss). 

If the known range of adaptation of A. arundi- 
naceus in the European-Siberian subartic is ex- 
trapolated, Garrison's northern range of adaptation 
in the western hemisphere can be projected (fig. 5). 
Confirmation of such a projection, however, will 
require additional testing. 

Within the broad geographical range of adapta- 
tion determined by temperature, other environ- 
mental factors further restrict the survival and 
performance of Garrison creeping foxtail. 

Moisture 

Garrison is adapted to sites where soil moisture 
is continually available. It grows well around the 
margin of bogs, potholes, and sloughs; in old lake- 
beds that collect runoff in spring; on flood plains 
that have a high water table, wet mountain mead- 
ows, stream and canal banks; and on some dryland 
sites receiving more than 65 cm precipitation an- 
nually. Garrison dominates the optimum site to the 
exclusion of all but the most competitive native 
vegetation, including sedges and rushes. It with- 
stands flooding by as much as 60 to 90 cm water for 
as long as 30 days without injury. 

If Garrison is grown on sites receiving less than 
65 cm annual precipitation, supplemental irrigation 
water is needed for optimum performance. This 
practice has substantially increased the range of 



6 S. G. Bonin, Beaverlodge, Alberta; S. Smoliak, Lethbridge, 
Alberta; R. W. Lodge, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, pers. 
commun., Can. Dep. Agric. 1972. 



adaptation in irrigated areas of western United 
States. 

Soils 

Garrison is adapted to a broad range of soils, 
provided sufficient moisture is available. It per- 
forms well on sands, loam, clay, peat, muck, and 
gleyed soils. It is tolerant of both moderately acid 
(pH 5.6 to 6.0) and moderately alkaline (pH 7.9 to 
8.4) soils and has survived on very wet soils having 
a pH>9.0. It has a salt tolerance of 14 mil- 
limhos/cm. 7 

Soil temperature has less effect on the growth of 
Garrison than air temperature. Rapid growth can 
occur under midwinter chinook conditions in Mon- 
tana, where air temperature reaches 10° C but the 
soil remains frozen. Foliage can reach a height of 75 
cm on disturbed permafrost soils in Alaska, where 
soil temperature seldom exceeds 7° C in the root 
zone but air temperature reaches 27° to 32° C. A 
midsummer soil temperature approaching 21° C 
within the upper 15 cm does not impede the growth 
of Garrison. 

Elevation 

Of all the factors affecting the performance of 
Garrison, elevation has the least direct influence. 
Garrison has grown successfully from elevations of 
152 m at Elsberry, Missouri, and 270 m at Big 
Flats, New York, to 2,834 m in Montana. At the 
Montana site, Garrison was the only grass of 40 
under test that produced seed heads. 8 At McFad- 
den, Wyoming (elevation 2,286 m), Garrison was 
the only grass of 24 under test to escape from the 
seeded plots after 10 years of observation. 

The southernmost limit of geographical adapta- 
tion in Arizona and in New Mexico is determined by 
the elevation of the Rocky Mountains, which influ- 
ences the temperature. Elevation is also responsi- 
ble for the poor performance of Garrison in the 
Columbian Basin of Washington and Oregon, 
where temperatures are high for extended periods 
in summer. 



Use and Management 

For the most part, the extensive store of infor- 
mation about use and management of Garrison 

7 R. L. Tresler, pers. commun., U.S. Dep. Agric, SCS, 
Casper, Wyo. 1963. 

8 W. E. Jones, pers. commun., U.S. Dep. Agric, SCS, Ennis, 
Mont. 1969. 



creeping foxtail is unpublished. Data in this section 
concerning stand establishment, forage and seed 
production, seed processing, and other uses are 
taken mainly from the files of SCS plant materials 
centers and agricultural experiment stations. 

Stand establishment 

Requirements for establishing stands of Garrison 
creeping foxtail are little different from those for 
other common domesticated forage grasses. A 
firmly packed, weed-free seedbed insures the 
greatest success. 

Seedings are made by drilling with a grain drill or 
by broadcasting, followed by light harrowing. Op- 
timum seeding depth is one-half inch. 

If the seed is properly processed, the seed mass 
flows freely through the seeding equipment (see 
Seed processing). Other steps or techniques are 
used to prevent the seed from bridging in the seed 
hopper. Most popular is dilution of the seed with 
such inert materials as rice hulls, cracked corn, or 
other grain. Seed and diluent proportions are pre- 
sented in table 1. Although coarsely cracked grains 
do not bridge in the equipment, undamaged em- 
bryos may germinate and compete with the grass 
seedlings. 

The large number of seed per pound (750,000) 
permits a relatively low seeding rate for establish- 
ing adequate stands. Experience, however, has 
shown that a minimum seeding rate of 3 to 4 lb/acre 
is necessary for ease of handling and uniform dis- 
tribution of seed through the seeding equipment. 
This minimum rate provides 52 to 69 seed/ft 2 . 9 By 
comparison, smooth brome, which produces 
150,000 seed/lb, is seeded at 8 lb/acre, providing 28 
seed/ft 2 . 

Uniformly moist soil is a requisite for good ger- 
mination of Garrison seed. The seedlings emerge 



Number of seed per pound x seeding rate. 
Square feet per acre 



Table 1 . — Amount of Garrison seed and diluent per acre used 
to provide uniform free-flowing distribution through seeding 
equipment 





Amount of 


Amount of 


Diluent 


Garrison seed 


diluent 




lb/acre 


bu/acre 


Rice hulls 


4 


2 


Cracked corn 


4 


1 


Cracked wheat 


4 


2 


Cracked barley 


4 


2 



within 12 days of seeding. Soil moisture exceeding 
50 percent field capacity is necessary during that 
period. 

The availability of soil moisture dictates the 
seeding date of Garrison. Spring plantings are most 
successful in areas where spring rain can be de- 
pended on. In low-lying areas that remain wet until 
late in summer, seeding is delayed until the soil is 
firm enough to support heavy equipment. In these 
areas, fall seedings as late as September 10-15 
allow enough time for the seedlings to become 
established before freezeup. Once established (6 to 
8 weeks), the seedlings are totally winter hardy. 

Late fall seedings, which preclude germination 
until the following spring, have also been successful 
in wet areas. Soil temperature does not affect 
germination and emergence of Garrison to the ex- 
tent that soil moisture does. In areas where irriga- 
tion water is available, stands have been success- 
fully established at any time during the growing 
season. 

Garrison does not require applications of com- 
mercial fertilizer for germination and emergence. 
Nevertheless, 6 weeks or more after emergence, it 
responds favorably to applications of 50 to 60 
lb/acre actual nitrogen. Garrison's response to 
phosphates, potassium, and secondary elements 
during establishment has been negligible in the 
Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, even though 
the soils typically show some deficiencies in these 
elements. 

Seedlings of Garrison are small and weak after 
emergence. Growth is slow during the first 4 to 6 
weeks. Thereafter, growth is rapid, and rhizomes 
are evident by the 8th week. If soil moisture and 
fertility are favorable, seed heads may develop 
during cool weather late in summer. Maturity of 
the seed depends on the date of the first hard freeze 
of -4° and -2° C in fall. Usually, not enough seed is 
produced during the seedling year to make a har- 
vest profitable. 

Forage production 

Under optimum soil moisture, fertility, and 
management, Garrison creeping foxtail produces 
high yields of excellent quality forage. In favorable 
environments, established stands are long lived and 
improve with age because of the prolific rhizomes 
and the abundance of shattering seed. This ag- 
gressiveness provides vigorous competition to 
other plants, including Canada thistle (Circium 
arvense L.), which was suppressed in a seed pro- 
duction field at Bridger, Montana, to the extent 



6 



that it did not bloom. Seedings of Garrison and 
legume mixtures must be managed with care to 
maintain the legumes in the mixture. 

Pure stands 

Forage yields of Garrison compare favorably 
with those of other grass species seeded in pure 
stands. In most studies where data are available, 
Garrison is compared with other grasses harvested 
for hay under different rates of nitrogen fertilizer 
(tables 2 through 6). The response of Garrison is 
equal or superior to the other grasses, especially at 
the higher rates of application where Garrison con- 
tinues to respond to the added increments. 

The closest competitor to Garrison on wet sites is 
reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinaceus L.). 

Table 2. — Total dry-matter yield from two cuttings of grasses 
grown under six rates of nitrogen 1 

[1968, Dillon, Montana; elevation 1,593 m] 



Rate of nitrogen application 








50 


100 


150 


200 


300 


Grass variety 


lb/ 


lb/ 


lb/ 


lb/ 


lb/ 


lb/ 




acre 


acre 


acre 


acre 


acre 


acre 








ton/acre 






'Manchar' smooth brome . 


. 2.9 


4.4 


4.5 


4.7 


5.3 


6.5 


Garrison' creeping foxtail . 


. 2.9 


3.9 


4.2 


4.7 


4.5 


5.7 


'Kenmont' tall fescue .... 


2.3 


3.1 


4.0 


4.9 


5.2 


5.5 


'Oahe' intermediate 














wheatgrass 


2.3 


3.5 


4.2 


4.6 


4.9 


5.4 


'Chinook' orchardgrass . . . 


. 2.3 


3.6 


3.6 


4.2 


4.8 


5.2 



'Data from Mont. State Univ. [mimeogr.]. 



Table 3. — Average dry-matter yield from first cutting of grasses 
grown under four rates of nitrogen ' 

[1958 and 1959, Farson, Wyoming; elevation 1,989 m] 

Rate of nitrogen application 

Grass variety 80 160 240 

lb/acre lb/acre lb/acre lb/acre 



ton/acre 



'Garrison' creeping foxtail . . 


0.4 


2.2 


3.8 


5.1 


Manchar' smooth brome . . 


.6 


2.8 


4.1 


5.1 


intermediate wheatgrass . . . 


.8 


2.8 


4.0 


4.9 


reed canarygrass 


.6 


2.5 


4.1 


4.8 


timothy 


.3 


2.1 


3.3 


3.4 


meadow foxtail 


.5 


1.9 


2.7 


3.3 


P-1 1 1 creeping foxtail .... 


.5 


2.2 


3.2 


3.2 


tall wheatgrass 


.7 


2.3 


2.0 


3.1 


orchardgrass 


.3 


1.4 


2.6 


2.6 


tall fescue 


.4 


1.9 


2.8 


2.6 


Russian wildrye 


.2 


1.2 


1.9 


2.4 



'After Walker, D. D. 1965. U.S. Dep. Agric, ARS, Soil and 
Water Conserv. Res. Div., Northern Plains Branch, Laramie, 
Wyo. 



Both species have similar moisture and flooding 
tolerance, and both are aggressive competitors on 
these sites. Yield data from South Dakota (table 6) 
show reed canarygrass producing more dry matter 
than Garrison. But when dry-matter digestibility 
and percentage protein are considered as well 
(table 7), yields are comparable. All grasses in this 
study were harvested at the same phenological 
stage of maturity. 

Table 4. — Dry-matter yield of Garrison creeping foxtail grown 
under four rates of nitrogen 1 

[1964, Auburn, Wyoming; elevation 1,829 m; 30-day frost-free 
period] 





Rate of nitrogen application 


Location of harvest 


50 100 200 




lb/acre lb/acre lb/acre lb/acre 




ton/acre 


Lester Hale farm 


2.3 2.7 3.1 2.6 


Glen Sibbet farm 


1.0 1.8 1.5 1.5 



'After Tresler, R. L. 1964. U.S. Dep. Agric, SCS, Casper, 
Wyo. 



Table 5 — Mean dry-matter yield of grasses grown with alfalfa 
under three rates of nitrogen 1 2 

[1958-61] 

Rate of 
nitrogen application 

Grass variety Alfalfa 80 160 240 

lb/acre lb/acre lb/acre 



ton/acre 



reed canarygrass 


3.9 


2.1 


3.8 


5.0 


Garrison' creeping foxtail . . 


4.1 


1.8 


3.4 


4.7 


P-1 1 1 creeping foxtail .... 


3.9 


1.8 


3.0 


4.0 


meadow foxtail 


3.7 


2.8 


2.8 


3.6 



'Grown at McFadden, Boulder, and Farson, Wyo.; elevation 
2,286 m, 1,865 m, and 1,989 m, respectively. 

2 After Mc Williams, J. L., John McDermand, and R. L. Har- 
rison. 1963. U.S. Dep. Agric, SCS, Casper, Wyo., and Bis- 
marck, N.D., and N.D. State Univ., Fargo, N.D. 



Table 6. — Dry-matter yield of nonfertilized grasses 1 
[South Dakota] 







Year 




Grass variety 


1963 


1964 


1965 


3-year 










total 






ton/acre 




Garrison' creeping foxtail 


5.21 


3.42 


2.04 


10.47 


loreed' reed canarygrass 


5.24 


4.06 


3.91 


13.21 


Frontier' reed canarygrass . . 


. . 5.47 


5.19 


5.07 


15.73 


'After McDermand, John. 


1967. U.S. 


Dep. 


Agric, 


SCS, 



Bismarck, N.D. 



Q 
f 



Grass-legume mixtures 

The performance of Garrison seeded with le- 
gumes has been investigated less thoroughly than 
that of Garrison seeded in pure stands. An irri- 
gated planting at Laramie, Wyoming, measured for 
hay production, compared the performance of mix- 
tures of Garrison and 'Lutana' cicer milkvetch (As- 
tragalus cicer L.) and of Garrison and 'Eski' sain- 
foin (Onobrychis viciaefolia L.) (Seamands et al. 
1972). During a 4-year study period (1968-71), the 
Garrison- Lu tana mixture increased in yield (table 
8), and the percentage of Lutana in the mixture 
also increased with time. Although the planting 
was managed with preference for the grass, Garri- 
son did not prevent the increase of Lutana. The 
Garrison-Eski mixture increased in yield less dra- 
matically, and the percentage of Eski decreased 
with time. Garrison increased in the stand at the 
expense of Eski, and yield increases during the 
4-year period were due to Garrison. 

Trials of 12 grass species seeded in alternate 
rows with Lutana cicer milkvetch at Bridger, 
Montana, showed fair compatibility between Lu- 
tana and Garrison (tables 9 and 10). The percentage 
of grass in the Garrison- Lutana, orchardgrass- Lu- 
tana, and reed canary grass- Lutana mixtures re- 
mained relatively constant during a 5-year period 

Table 7. — Percentage dry-matter digestibility and protein 
content of grasses fertilized with 60 lb/acre actual 
nitrogen in the spring before sampling 1 

[South Dakota] 



Grass variety 


Dry-matter 
digestibility 


Protein 
content 




percent 


percent 


'Garrison' creeping foxtail 


74.6 


22.9 


'Nordan' desert wheatgrass 


73.5 


18.2 


reed canarygrass 


68.5 


18.5 


'Fairway' crested wheatgrass 


67.0 


17.5 


smooth brome 


60.9 


18.5 


summer switchgrass 


48.7 


9.0 



•After McDermand, John. 1967. U.S. Dep. Agric, SCS, 
Bismarck, N.D., from S.D. State Univ. data. 



Table 8. Total seasonal yield of hay of Garrison creeping 
foxtail in mixture with Lutana cicer milkvetch and 
with Eski sainfoin 

[Laramie, Wyoming; elevation 2,194 m] 



Year 

3-year 

Mixture 1968 1969 1971 average 



ton/acre 

'Garrison'-Lutana 1.31 2.62 4.04 2.65 

'Garrison'-Eski 1.04 1.49 2.31 1.61 



(1970-74). In the other mixtures, the percentage of 
grass either declined rapidly or was low from the 
beginning. There was no significant difference in 
the total 4-year average dry-matter production of 
the 12 mixtures. When grass production was high, 
legume production was low, and vice versa. Al- 
though the Manchar-Lutana and Regar-Lutana 
mixtures produced more grass than the Garrison- 
Lutana mixture, the grass was 50 percent or less of 
the original percentage the last 2 years. 
Pasture 

Garrison creeping foxtail is well suited to use for 
pasture because it recovers rapidly from grazing 
and is not dormant during periods of high temper- 
ature in summer. The University of Wyoming at 

Table 9. — Average dry-matter production of grasses seeded in 
alternate rows with Lutana cicer milkvetch and 
grown under irrigation 1 

[1971-74; Bridger, Montana; elevation 1,146 m] 



Grass variety 


Grass 


Legume 


Total 






ton/acre 


P-15601 reed canarygrass 


2.69a 


2.79d 


5.48 


'Manchar' smooth brome 


2.64a 


2.39d 


5.03 


Latar' orchardgrass 


1.80b 


4.13c 


5.93 


Garrison' creeping foxtail .... 


1.60bc 


4.59bc 


6.20 


'Regar' brome 


1.23cd 


4.93abc 


6.16 


Kenmont' tall fescue 


1.14d 


4.11c 


5.25 


Luna' pubescent wheatgrass . 


. . 1.09d 


5.09abc 


6.18 


Drummond' timothy 


34e 


5.58abc 


5.92 


'Troy' Kentucky bluegrass .... 


.32e 


5.74ab 


6.06 


'vlnall' Russian wildrye 


. . 20e 


5.25abc 


5.45 


'Rosana' western wheatgrass . 


. . .15e 


6.08a 


6.23 


P-1 5599 switchgrass 


. . .11e 


5.44abc 


5.55 N.S. 



'Yields followed by the same letter are not significantly 
different at the 0.05 level of probability (Duncan's Multiple 
Range Test). 



Table 10. — Percentage, by weight, of grasses seeded in 
alternate rows with Lutana cicer milkvetch during a 
5-year period 



Year 



Grass variety 


1970 


1971 


1972 


1973 


1974 


P-15601 reed canarygrass . . 


27 


50 


51 


41 


51 


Manchar' smooth brome . . . 


77 


77 


63 


34 


36 


Latar' orchardgrass 


29 


26 


35 


23 


24 


Garrison' creeping foxtail . . . 


29 


17 


29 


20 


23 


Regar' brome 


41 


33 


47 


14 


10 


Kenmont' tall fescue 


51 


44 


21 


14 


3 


Luna' pubescent wheatgrass 


34 


35 


31 


9 


1 


'Drummond' timothy 


4 


6 


10 


9 


1 


Troy' Kentucky bluegrass . . . 


Trace 


2 


6 


6 


7 


'vlnall' Russian wildrye 


6 


6 


6 


3 


1 


Rosana' western wheatgrass 


24 


5 


3 


1 


1 


P-1 5599 switchgrass 


9 


3 


1 


1 


2 



8 



Laramie conducted grazing studies on a mixture of 
Garrison and Lutana cicer milkvetch and a mixture 
of Garrison and Eski sainfoin (Seamands et al. 
1972). Although Garrison was not compared with 
other grasses, its capabilities when grazed by 
steers were quite acceptable at that high-elevation, 
irrigated site. Because there was almost no Eski 
sainfoin in the mixture of Eski and Garrison, the 
study provides a comparison of Garrison alone and 
with a legume. The results indicate the advantage 
of having a legume in the pasture mixture — a 30- 
percent increase in animal unit months of grazing 
(table 11) and a 20-percent increase in pounds of 
beef produced per acre (table 12) during a 4-year 
period (1968-71). 

Palatability of Garrison in pastures is excellent. 
In two trials conducted in South Dakota, Garrison 
was planted in strips in the same field with strips of 
smooth brome, reed canary grass, and tall wheat- 
grass. In one trial, the grasses were grazed by 
Holstein cattle and in the other by Hereford cattle. 
In both trials, Garrison was the preferred forage. 
In an observational feeding trial at Bridger, Mon- 
tana, debris from seed production fields was fed 
free-choice to Shorthorn cows. The cows selected 
Garrison straw in equal amounts with second-cut- 
ting alfalfa, and they preferred Garrison straw to 
that from fields of thickspike wheatgrass (Agro- 
pyron dasystackyum (Hook.) Scribn.), western 
wheatgrass (A. smithii Rydb.), prairie sand- 
reed (Calamovilfa longifolia (Hook.) Scribn.), 
basin wildrye (Elymus cinereus Scribn. & Merr.), 
beardless wildrye {Elymus triticoides Buckl.), 

Table 1 1 —Animal unit months of grazing per acre of 
Lutana-Garrison and Eski-Garrison pastures for 
four grazing periods 

[Laramie, Wyoming] 





Year 


Mixture 


1968 1969 1970 1971 Total 


Lutana-Garrison 
Eski-Garrison 


1.87 3.04 3.66 4.69 13.26 

2.50 2.76 3.35 3.60 12.21 


Table 12. — Beef produced on Lutana-Garrison and 
Eski-Garrison pastures during a 4-year grazing period 

[Laramie, Wyoming] 




Year 


Mixture 


1968 1969 1970 1971 Total 


Lutana-Garrison 
Eski-Garrison 


ton/acre 

141.9 196.6 299.1 302.9 940.5 

148.8 154.1 286.3 198.3 787.5 



switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), reed canary- 
grass {Phalaris arundinacea L.), longleaf blue- 
grass (Poa longifolia L.), and green needlegrass 
(Stipa viridula Trin.). Reports received from 
farmers and ranchers during the 20 years of field 
testing show that Garrison was consistently ac- 
ceptable to all classes of livestock (fig. 6). 

Seed production 

Garrison is one of the more difficult grasses to 
harvest for seed, and it requires more attention 
during cleaning to obtain a quality seed product. 
Proper management of the seed fields, timing of 
harvest, and adjustment of harvesting and proc- 
essing equipment are essential for good yields and 
seed recovery. 

Management of seed fields 

Fields of Garrison produced for commercial seed 
purposes are established on the best available site 
where applications of water, fertilizer, and herbi- 
cides can be carefully controlled and access to the 
land is insured during the critical harvest period. 
As in hay plantings, enough moisture must be 
available to the plants to insure growth throughout 
the season. Standard weed-control practices are 
applied to prevent weed invasion although, if fer- 
tility is adequate, weeds are seldom a problem. 

Stands are established either in widely spaced 
rows to facilitate cultivation or in solid stands. Like 
the seed fields of most vigorously rhizomatous 
grasses, however, those of Garrison planted in 
widely spaced rows quickly grow together unless 
drastic and expensive tillage methods are used to 
keep the rows apart. If the stand is allowed to grow 
solid, seed yields are reduced markedly by sod- 
binding. If nitrogen fertilizer is applied at high 
rates, however, Garrsion is unique in its ability to 
overcome the sodbinding effect. For example, a 
foundation seed production field at Bridger, Mon- 
tana, was fertilized with 60 lb/acre actual nitrogen 
for 5 years and allowed to grow solid. In the 6th and 
subsequent years, 100 lb/acre nitrogen was applied, 
and economical seed production levels were sus- 
tained for several more years (table 13). Yearly 
variations due to adverse weather can be expected. 
Fertilizer is applied between August 15 and Oc- 
tober 1 to provide the nutrients needed by the seed 
head primordia that form in fall. 

Applications of nitrogen fertilizer influence the 
size and number of inflorescence. At Bridger, 
Montana, nitrogen was applied at four rates to an 
8-year-old field. Seed yields increased rapidly when 



Figure 6. — Cattle grazing a pasture of 'Garrison' creeping foxtail. 



as much as 100 lb/acre was applied but leveled off 
when the rate was increased to 150 lb/acre (table 
14). At a rate of more than 100 lb/acre, the plants 
used more nitrogen for foliage production than for 
seed production. The number of seed heads was 
501/m 2 when no nitrogen was applied and 941/m 2 
when 100 lb/acre nitrogen was applied, an 88-per- 
cent increase. The average length of seed heads 
was 4.7 cm when no nitrogen was applied and 6.8 
cm when 100 lb/acre was applied, a 45-percent 
increase. Seed yields were 350 lb/acre when no 

Table 1 3. — Annual seed yield of Garrison grown under 
irrigation and two rates of nitrogen 

[Bridger, Montana] 



Nitrogen 

Year application Seed yield 



lb/acre lb/acre 

1962 60 100 

1963 60 366 

1964 60 261 

1965 60 303 

1966 60 92 

1967 100 412 

1968 100 181 

1969 100 316 

1970 100 259 

1971 100 324 

1972 100 73 

1973 100 80 

1974 100 32 



nitrogen was applied and 570 lb/acre when 100 
lb/acre was applied, a 62-percent increase. 

Time of harvest 

Seed maturity of Garrison is controlled mainly by 
temperature. In the relatively warm regions of 
Missouri, seed is ready to harvest about June 5-15; 
in North Dakota about July 1-5; in Montana about 
June 25-30; in central Wyoming, where cooler 
weather prevails, about July 10-15; and in the high 
elevations (2,000 m or more) of western Wyoming, 
about July 25-30. In the cool climate of Alaska's 
Matanuska Valley, the maturity date is about July 
15-20. 



Table 14. — Dry-matter and seed yield of Garrison foxtail grown 
under four rates of nitrogen 

[1968, Bridger, Montana] 







Dry- 












matter 




Seed 


percentage 


Nitrogen 


Dry 


incre- 




incre- 


of dry 




matter 


ments 1 




ment 


matter 


lb/acre 


lb/acre 


lb 


lb/acre 


lb 







3,742 





350 





9.3 


50 


5,413 


33.4 


579 


4.6 


10.6 


100 


5,641 


19.0 


570 


2.2 


10.1 


150 


6,602 


19.1 


584 


1.6 


8.8 



•Additional yield per pound of nitrogen applied, compared 
with yield obtained without nitrogen. 



10 



Because of the irregular maturation of Garrison 
seed, determination of an exact time of harvest 
readiness is difficult. Susceptibility of mature seed 
to shattering, even during moderate winds or rain 
showers, makes determination of correct harvest 
time critical. Experience demonstrates that three 
reliable indicators are: (1) 75 percent or more of the 
seed are black, (2) 50 percent of the seed heads 
have begun to shatter at the tip, and (3) 75 percent 
of the stems for a length of 3 to 4 inches immedi- 
ately below the seed heads are yellow. These indi- 
cations of harvest readiness occur simultaneously 
and rapidly, often within 24 hours but usually dur- 
ing a 3-day period. 

Method of harvest 

The leaves and stems of Garrison retain a high 
moisture content long after the seed matures. 
Harvesting by direct combining is not satisfactory 
because the excessive green material creates sep- 
arating and drying problems. Generally, the crop is 
windrowed, allowed to dry, and then picked up 
from the windrow by a combine (Thornburg et al. 
1971). Losses from shattering during these opera- 
tions are reduced if the reel speed of the windrower 
and the pickup reel speed of the combine equal or 
only slightly exceed the ground speed of these 
machines. The extent of seed loss during harvest is 
evident from the comparison of hand-harvested 
yields of 570 lb/acre (table 14; nitrogen applied at a 
rate of 100 lb/acre) and machine-harvested yields of 
181 lb/acre (table 13, 1968 harvest). 

For maximum yield, the following adjustments 
of the combine are important: 

a. Slow the ground speed to avoid overloading 
the straw walkers and the sieves. Garrison needs 
about 30 percent more separating time than other 
small-seeded grasses. 

b. Shut off all air by sealing the fan housing or by 
inactivating the fan. 

c. Remove the screens that follow the sieves. 

d. Adjust concave spacing to one-fourth inch. 

e. Adjust cylinder speed to 3,500 ft/min: ft/min 
= r/min x cylinder diameter in feet x 3.14. 

For example: 
a 15-inch (1.25-ft) diameter cylinder at 900 r/min 
= 3,500 ft/min, or 900 x 1.25 x 3.14. 
Threshed seed is trashy; seed purity seldom ex- 
ceeds 20 to 25 percent. The material is difficult to 
handle with auger- type conveyance equipment. 
Seed can be moved from the combine to storage and 
processing areas with less difficulty by bucket, belt, 
or pneumatic conveyors or in sacks. Once the seed 



is processed, however, it can be moved easily by 
any conveyance system. 

Seed processing 

Seed of Garrison creeping foxtail requires more 
time and equipment for processing than most other 
grass seed. The greatest difficulty is in attaining a 
uniform flow rate through the feed opening of the 
surge bin at the beginning of the cleaning line. 
Positive-action feed and active agitation mecha- 
nisms are needed to prevent bridging in the surge 
bins. A typical processing line for Garrison seed 
includes a scalper, a debearder, an air-screen sepa- 
rator, and possibly a specific gravity separator. 

A scalper, usually a two-screen model, is 
equipped with a top 12/64-inch round screen and a 
bottom 9/64-inch round screen. No air is needed. 
This machine removes about 60 percent, by vol- 
ume, of the trashy material. The seed and fine 
chaff, however, remain bulky and difficult to han- 
dle. 

A debearder removes the fine hairs from the 
glume keels, the critical process in producing free- 
flowing seed. Before this machine was used in the 
processing line, only 50 to 60 percent purity was 
possible. Evaluations at the Pullman, Washington, 
Plant Materials Center showed that a strong rub- 
bing action effectively removes the hairs without 
damaging the seed (Stroh 1963). Disk separators, 
hammer mills, and debearders have all been used to 
accomplish this. Hammer mills and debearders 
however, are more satisfactory than disk separa- 
tors because they are near the beginning of the 
processing line, and they have a greater capacity. A 
disk separator is effective only after the seed has 
passed through an air-screen separator. This 
operation introduces free dustlike hairs to the seed 
mass, and precautions must be taken to protect 
equipment operators from inhaling these irritating 
particles. The free hairs also irritate the skin and 
eyes of some individuals. 

An air-screen separator removes most of the 
remaining inert material, weed seed, and other 
crop seed that the scalper did not separate. After 
the glume hairs are removed, individual seeds are 
smaller in effective size and exhibit a higher spe- 
cific gravity. Smaller size screens can be used, and 
light fines can be separated by air. Approximate 
screen sizes on a four-screen machine are: 

inch 

Top scalper 8/64 round 

Top finisher 1/17 round 

Bottom scalper 7/64 round 

Bottom finisher 1/18 round 

11 



Shaker speeds between 350 and 400 r/min are used. 
Maximum pitch on all screens usually is necessary 
to insure good seed flow. The fans need careful 
adjustment to remove light material without loss of 
good seed. If a specific gravity separator is avail- 
able, only coarse air adjustment need to be made on 
the air screen; the gravity separator makes fine 
separations. Seed recovered from the air-screen 
separator should have a purity of more than 80 
percent. Purity exceeding 90 percent can be at- 
tained. 

A specific gravity separator is used for very fine 
separation of light materials from the seed, i.e., 
empty or immature florets, leaf parts, and some 
weeds of comparable size but of different weight. 
Because Garrison seed are lightweight, little air is 
needed, but this air must be kept at a constant 
temperature. Air temperature changes of as little 
as 1° to 2° C require adjustment of the separator, 
usually deck inclination. Relative humidity changes 
of 5 to 10 percent also require readjustment of the 
machine. Unless these two factors are held con- 
stant, or if the separator is not monitored and 
adjusted continuously, uniformity of the seed lot 
will be compromised. Purity of more than 99 per- 
cent has been attained with this machine, and, even 
more important, germination percentages can be 
increased by as much as 10 percent if the shriveled 
and immature seed are removed. 

Protecting seed during storage 

The seed of Garrison is a choice food of rodents. 
If the mouse population is not controlled, loss of 
seed in storage areas can exceed 10 percent. Seed 
stored in laminated paper bags is less susceptible to 
damage than seed stored in cloth or burlap bags. 

Insects have posed no problems to stored Garri- 
son seed. 

Conservation uses 

Because of characteristics peculiar to Garrison, 
this grass lends itself to several uses in addition to 
the traditional one of forage. Such characteristics 
as early growth, dense sodding, tolerance to flood- 
ing and silt deposition, favorable response to high 
rates of fertilization, and good palatability contrib- 
ute to its use under unique environmental condi- 
tions. 

Stabilization plantings 

The high moisture tolerance and vigorous rhi- 
zomes of Garrison are especially advantageous for 



controlling erosion along streambanks, shorelines, 
wet waterways, or wherever high moisture condi- 
tions preclude the growth of less tolerant species. 
Garrison is also effective on earthen dams having a 
fluctuating water level. Once established, it can 
withstand lengthy periods of inundation that may 
alternate with dry periods. Although its moisture 
requirements are high for good growth, it is also 
remarkably tolerant to drought. In addition, Gar- 
rison's tolerance to a broad spectrum of pH levels 
permits its use on acidic roadsides or bog areas, as 
well as in saline seeps or mine spoils. 

The vigorous rhizomes rapidly repair mechanical 
damage to critical erosion sites. Unless damage is 
extensive, reseeding of these areas is seldom nec- 
essary. The seed of Garrison is both windborne and 
waterborne, which further aids in repairing dam- 
aged areas. Garrison's ability to spread rapidly can, 
however, create maintenance problems if it is 
planted on banks of irrigation canals and ditches or 
where open waterways must be maintained. A 
nonfluctuating water level more than 6 inches deep 
prevents the growth of Garrison. 

Plantings on waste disposal areas 

Garrison tolerates and uses high levels of fertil- 
izer and moisture, as exhibited by fertilization 
studies (see Management of seed fields). These 
characteristics permit its use on filter fields for the 
disposal of liquid wastes from food-processing 
plants and on sewage effluent disposal fields in cool 
climates. In many places the forage produced on 
these areas can be used for livestock feed. 

Garrison tolerates deposition of silt, and, in areas 
where moisture is adequate, it is a valuable plant 
for filter strips used to trap silt. Periodic single 
deposits of silt as much as 6 inches deep are tol- 
erated, as is continuous deposition of near-colloidal 
silt suspended in moving water during the growing 
season. A field of Garrison at Bridger, Montana, 
completely removed 22 tons of fine sand and silt per 
acre-foot of water applied across a 50-foot distance 
with no harm to the plants. 

Wildlife uses 

Garrison is one of the earliest grasses to begin 
growth in spring. The new growth is tender and 
succulent and provides excellent forage for geese, 
coots, and widgeons. Wildlife plantings have been 
established specifically for this purpose around 
ponds and lakes and along streams. The dense 



12 



growth provides excellent escape cover and nesting 
habitat for waterfowl and ground-nesting song- 
birds. 

Elk and mule deer readily eat Garrison early in 
spring and late in fall. 

Literature Cited 

Hafenrichter, A. L., Ronald B. Foster, John L. 
Schwendiman. 1965. Effect of storage at four 
locations in the West on longevity of forage 
seeds. Agron. J. 57: 143-147. 

Hanson, A. A. 1972. Grass varieties in the United 
States. U.S. Dep. Agric. Agric. Handb. 170. 

Irwin, D. L. 1945. Forty-seven years of experi- 
mental work with grasses and legumes in Alaska. 
Alaska Agric. Exp. Stn. Bull. 12. 



Klapp, Ernest. 1952. Taschenbuch der Graser 
(Handbook of grasses). Paul Parey, Berlin and 
Hamburg, Germany. 

Rozhevits, R. Yu., and B. K. Shiskin. 1934. Flora 
of U.S.S.R. Gramineae, vol. II. V. L. Komarov 
(ed.). (English transl., Bot. Inst, of the Acad. 
Sci., U.S.S.R., Leningrad, U.S.S.R.) 

Seamands, W. J., R. L. Lang, M. Corbridge, and 
E. W. Boilsen. 1972. Lutana cicer milkvetch- 
Eski sainfoin pasture studies. Wyo. Agric. Exp. 
Stn. Bull. Res. J. 56. 

Stevens, 0. A. 1950. Handbook of North Dakota 
plants. N.D. Agric. Coll., Fargo, N.D. 324 pp. 

Stroh, J. R. 1963. Free flowing meadow foxtail 
seed. Western Feed and Seed. April 1963. 

Thornburg, A. A., J. R. Stroh, and A. F. Shaw. 
1971. Grass and legume seed production in Mon- 
tana. Mont. Coop. Ext. Serv. Bull. 333. 



ftUS GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 1978 0—247-186 

13