Cheatgrass – A challenge to range research

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Determining the ecologic and economic importance of cheatgrass is a challenge to range research. This poorly understood species produces a large volume of herbage over extensive acreages and is undoubtedly the most important forage plant on southern Idaho ranges. Its probable effect upon grazing, watershed, wildlife, recreation, and timber production further adds to its importance. Many additional facts are needed before we can fully determine the importance and the desirability of this newcomer. If cheatgrass is found to be desirable a program for its proper management should be developed. Should it be found undesirable, methods of replacement must be found. The first and most important immediate problem now facing research is finding out how cheatgrass ranges might be managed to hold the soil in place and to maintain soil productivity.