Meehan, M. A., DeKeyser, E. S., Sedivec, K. K. and Norland, J. E. 2012. Nutritional composition of Sprengel's sedge (Carex sprengelii). Can. J. Plant Sci. 92: 867-871. Sprengel's sedge (Carex sprengelii) has been documented as a primary graminoid species in riparian woodlands and forested areas of the northern Plains. Currently, there is no documentation of the nutrient content of Sprengel's sedge. The objective of this study was to determine the nutritional value of Sprengel's sedge of riparian woodlands in eastern North Dakota. Plants were clipped to 2.5 cm from the soil surface at 2-wk intervals during the growing seasons of 2009 and 2010. Multiple whole-plant samples were collected from five randomly selected sites at two different locations during each collection period. Plant tissue was analyzed for crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD), calcium, and phosphorus. The CP concentrations declined from over 20% in May to under 10% in October. Sprengel's sedge, based on IVOMD, met energy requirements for a 550 kg lactating cow early in the growing season; however, as the growing season progressed it was unable to meet energy requirements. Irrespective of year, Sprengel's sedge maintains a high CP level throughout a typical grazing season; however, digestible energy becomes deficient. Grazing strategies that promote spring and early summer grazing or supplementation of a high-energy feed source to compensate for the decrease in energy are recommended.
Carex de Sprengel