Important cattle grazing grass could shrink 60 percent, says study

Big bluestem grass — one of the most important forage grasses in the Midwest for cattle — is predicted to drop as much as 60 percent drop in stature and growth over the next 75 years due to climate change, according to a study published in the journal Global Change Biology.

Ecology program has prisoners planting sagebrush

Under a program funded by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), prisoners in six states are planting sagebrush, a plant native to Western grasslands that has been depleted by development and by ranchers' preference for other grasses that make better forage for livestock. Sagebrush provides valuable habitat for big-game and birds, while providing enough shade to keep moisture in the soil.

Cattle and sage grouse might not be enemies after all, says study

Long considered ecological foes, some kinds of livestock grazing might actually benefit endangered sage grouse, says a study in the journal Ecological Applications.

USDA deregulates GE bentgrass that escaped field trials

Based on its belief that a genetically engineered strain of bentgrass “is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk,” the USDA agency in charge of biotechnology has deregulated the grass, which escaped field trials in 2003 and grows in the wild in two Oregon counties, said Capital Press. The deregulation followed an agreement by Scotts, the developer of the grass, not to commercialize the variety.

GMO grass a threat to seed industry in Oregon

In Oregon, the self-proclaimed grass-seed capital of the world, a strain of genetically modified grass, developed by Scotts Miracle-Gro, has jumped the Snake River from test beds in Idaho and poses a risk to the $1-billion-a-year grass-seed industry, says the Portland Oregonian. Some growers and dealers "fear it's only a matter of time before the altered seed reaches the Willamette Valley, the heart of Oregon's grass business," a potential catastrophe.