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Needle & Threadgrass

Needle & Threadgrass "bails" after custom field collection in a native southern utah stand.

 

A Little Bit About Us

Great Basin Seed has a proud heritage in the Intermountain West seed industry. Our family lineage and business heritage are directly linked to the beginnings of reclamation, revegetation and wildlife habitat improvement.

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Great Basin Seed
450 South 50 East
Ephraim, UT 84627

Contact Info

435.283.1411 (Office)
435.283.6872 (Fax)
dess@haystackmtn.com

Intermediate Wheatgrass

Intermediate Wheatgrass seed and plant description
Scientific Name: Thinopyrum intermedium

Intermediate wheatgrass is a perennial grass introduced in 1932 from Europe and Asia. It is widely used for hay and pasture in the northern Great Plains, west to central Washington, and south into Colorado, Kansas, northern New Mexico and Arizona. It is broadly distributed and is a favorite in pasture mixes. It produces good hay yields, both in monoculture and in mixtures. Intermediate wheatgrass grows to 3 to 4 feet tall. It is a long-lived, cool season grass with short rhizomes and a deep feeding root system.

Intermediate Wheatgrass Habitat

Intermediate wheatgrass is adapted to areas with 12 to 14 inches of annual rainfall or greater. The pubescent form can tolerate slightly more droughty conditions to 11 or 12 inches of rainfall. It performs best between 3,500 and 9,000 feet elevation. It can be seeded at lower elevations, but moisture requirements are greater. It is not as drought tolerant as Crested Wheatgrass, Siberian Wheatgrass or Russian Wildrye.

Intermediate wheatgrass responds very well to limited irrigation. It is able to tolerate droughty conditions when irrigation ceases as long as about 12-14 inches or more total annual moisture is provided. It provides excellent spring, early summer, and fall pasture, but must be carefully managed to ensure maintenance of the stand and high production.

Intermediate Wheatgrass Uses:

Intermediate wheatgrass is palatable to all classes of livestock and wildlife. It is a preferred feed for cattle, sheep, horses, deer, antelope, and elk in spring, early summer and fall. It is considered a desirable feed for cattle, sheep, horses, and elk in summer and winter. Livestock and wildlife will graze it throughout the growing season, but it is most preferred as forage in spring, early summer, and fall. A healthy, productive stand will not withstand heavy continuous grazing. Stands of intermediate wheatgrass are not as susceptible to spring and fall freezing as Smooth Brome, Meadow Brome, or Orchardgrass. Intermediate wheatgrass has fairly slow re-growth following clipping and is best adapted to single crop- haying conditions. It responds very well to irrigation with initial production nearing the level of orchardgrass and meadow brome and exceeding smooth brome under full irrigation.

Intermediate wheatgrass is well adapted to the stabilization of disturbed soils. This grass can be used in critical and urban areas where irrigation water is limited and to stabilize ditch banks, dikes, and roadsides. This grass can also be use to build soils because of its heavy root production. Levels as high as 7,000 pounds (dry weight) per acre of root production in the upper 8 inches of soil have been measured in five-year-old stands.

Eight inches of new growth should be attained in spring before grazing is allowed on established stands. A four-inch stubble height should be maintained following grazing or mowing and going into winter. In pasture tests, stands consistently out- yield other grass-legume mixtures. For this reason, stocking rates can be set higher than other grasses. Care should be taken to allow proper rest of at least 21 to 28 days between grazing periods under irrigated and high moisture situations.

Sowing Advise:

For mine lands, roadsides, and other harsh critical areas, the seeding rate should be increased to 20- 25 pounds PLS per acre or 40- 50 PLS seeds per square foot. Intermediate wheatgrass establishes fairly quickly. Seedling vigor is good to excellent. Under favorable conditions intermediate wheatgrass provides good weed suppression. It makes good spring growth, fair summer growth, and good fall growth, if moisture is available. Light, frequent irrigation is beneficial for stand establishment.

Intermediate Wheatgrass Cultivars:

‘Oahe’ intermediate wheatgrass was selected from seed originating in Russia by South Dakota AES, Brookings, South Dakota and was released in 1961. Named after the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River, it is an abbreviation for the Sioux word meaning “Big House.” It was selected for its uniformly bluish- green color, drought tolerance, vigor, rhizomatous traits and high seed yields. Oahe is adapted for hay, pasture and conservation purposes. Certified seed is available and South Dakota State University maintains Breeder seed.

‘Rush’ intermediate wheatgrass was selected from seed originating from sources in Germany. It was selected by the Aberdeen PMC and released by the Idaho AES and Aberdeen PMC in 1994. It was selected for superior seedling emergence and vigor compared to other intermediate wheatgrasses, good spring recovery, good rate of spread by rhizomes, uniform seedheads, wide leaves, high forage production, and high seed production. It has the largest seed of intermediate wheatgrasses, averaging 66,000 seeds per pound. It is adapted for soil erosion control, roadside stabilization, mine spoil stabilization, hayland, and pastureland both dry and irrigated, and forage for livestock and wildlife. It is not adapted to hay mixtures with alfalfa. Certified seed is available and Breeder seed is maintained by Aberdeen PMC.

Intermediate Wheatgrass Synonyms: Agropyron intermedium, Elytrigia intermedia Intermediate wheatrgass is closely related to Pubescent Wheatgrass (Agropyron trichophorum).

***click the “Additional Information” tab for more seed facts.

Common Name:

Intermediate Wheatgrass

Scientific Name:

Old Scientific Name:

Plant Type:

Native or Introduced:

Plant Lifespan:

Sowing / Planting Rate:

Max Sowing Depth:

Available Cultivars/Varieties:

,

Seed Count

88,000 seeds/lb.

Growth Season:

Min. Precipitation

12-14 inches

Growth Height:

Root Form

Sodformer

Sun & Shade Tolerance:

Full Sun, Shade Intolerant

Elevation of Occurance:

pH Tolerance:

Best Time to Sow:

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