The ability of forage crops to out-compete foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum L.) and downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) weeds often fails in saline soils. Ten forage treatments [alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)], Nuttall’s salt-meadow grass [Puccinellia nuttalliana (Schult.) Hitchc.], smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.), the “Saltmaster” forage blend, and six wheatgrass treatments: western [Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) Löve], northern [Elymus kronokensis (Kom.) Tzvelev], tall [Thinopyrum ponticum (Podp.) Barkw. & Dewey], and green (Elymus hoffmannii Jensen & Asay) in 30 and 15 cm rows and alternating rows with slender [Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould] were compared with plots left unseeded. After three growing seasons, the smooth bromegrass, tall, and the average for the three green wheatgrass treatments, respectively, limited foxtail barley shoot growth to 4%, 2%, and 1% of the total shoot biomass at a negligibly to moderately saline site near Warner, AB; downy brome was also limited to 4%, 4%, and 2%, respectively. The three green wheatgrass treatments at the moderately to severely saline site near Alsask, SK, required twice the time to limit foxtail barley growth to 5%, 8%, and 18%, respectively, of the total. At least 95% of the foxtail barley and 98% of the downy brome were suppressed by green wheatgrass in soils averaging ≤14 dS m-1.
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Vol. 98 • No. 2