dry farming on sage brush ground
We've got some land in Sublette County outside of La Barge and Big Piney that is covered with sagebrush. It is on the foothill of the mountains and normally produces decent grass for grazing. We've been talking about clearing the sagebrush and planting some test plots of forage or grass to see if this could produce some decent dry farm grazing land for our cattle. Could your AG office recommend some varieties of forage or grass that might do well in the dry, arid climate of Western Wyoming?
The habit values for wildlife combined with the current grazing value result in concerns about the wisdom of making a conversion to grassland through seeding. Seeding is expensive and in the climate and soil of the area would not return enough to pay for the practice.
Bulletin B-1206 on the University of Wyoming Extension web site provides choices that would be acceptable for the soil and precipitation of your area. USDA-NRCS and University of Wyoming Extension offices in Pinedale can provide local information. Local contractors in the oil and gas well site and pipeline reclamation business could provide information on costs for your application.