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Bulletin P

Article Title

Bromegrass in Iowa

Abstract

Bromegrass (Bromus inermis) is one of the most productive, nutritious and palatable forage grasses for -Iowa. Because of its outstanding performance during the drouth years of 1934 and 1936, interest in this grass was greatly stimulated. Many bluegrass pastures in western Iowa were completely killed during that period. Bromegrass is now being seeded by farmers in all sections of the state, many growing it for the first time. The rapid expansion in acreage during the past 5 years reflects an increased appreciation of the value of this grass for pasture and hay and as a soil conserving crop.

Bromegrass is a native of central Europe. It was introduced into the United States in the early 1880’s. As early as 1890 trials reported by the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station had indicated its promise of value for midwestern farms. In those years, however, farmers Were more interested in producing cereal grains on the fertile lands, which had recently been plowed from virgin prairie, than m seeding and establishing grasses. It was not until most of our native grass areas had been plowed, and many acres had become seriously eroded, that the reestablishment of grass became a problem in which farmers generally were interested.

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