Eradicating Tall Fescue Using Glyphosate followed by Cool-season Grass Seedings

Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) grasslands do not provide quality habitat for northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Converting tall fescue fields to other cool-season grasses and legumes (CSG) may provide more favorable wildlife habitat. We evaluated the effectiveness of spring and fall pre-emergence Round-Up PRO” applications with and without prescribed burns for eradicating tall fescue and establishing CSGs. Two tall fescue fields were located in western Kentucky. Prescribed burns, herbicide applications, and CSG seedings were applied in 2 0.05-ha treatment plots during spring and fall 1996 and spring 1997 at each site. Mean planted CSG cover at both sites was higher (P<0.05) in treatments with fall plantings (range=12.0%-124.5%) compared to treatments with spring plantings (range=0.0%-18.1%) during the first growing season. Similarly, planted CSG cover levels in the fall-planted treatments (x=43.5%, SE=3.91) were higher (P<0.05) than planted CSG cover levels in the spring-planted treatments (x=17.0%, SE = 2.82) during the second growing season. Plant species richness was higher (P<0.01) in all treatment plots (range=3.4-7.4 species/m2) compared to the control (range= 1.4-3.1 species/m2) during the 2 growing seasons following treatment applications. In addition, some treatments produced higher levels of bare ground. Regardless of treatment, tall fescue conversion resulted in grassland habitats believed more favorable to bobwhite quail.

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