Cattle Ranges of the Southwest Page: 31 of 32
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It is highly valued by stockmen for its nutritive qualities, being relished
by cattle whether cured as it stands on the range or cut for hay.
It is one of the best drought-resistant grasses of this region, and occurs
both in moist river valleys and on the drier uplands. It seeds freely
every year, and is one of the best wheat grasses for use in bringing up
the native pastures to their former value.
Blue grama (Bouteloua oligostachya).-This grass and the closely
related black grama (B. eriopoda) are the most abundant and among
the most nutritious of the range grasses. This grass is known
throughout all the cattle-raising States from Montana and North
Dakota southward to Arizona and the Mexican border. It grows well
on the high arid plains and bench laiids, and is both a hay and a pasture
grass. Too high an estimate can not be placed upon its value for
stock purposes. It seeds abundantly, and, as it ofteii holds the ground
to the exclusion of other species, seed could be obtained in large quantities
at small expense by mowing and thrashing it out.
Wild bean (Phaseolus helvolus).-This species of bean and a dozen
others closely related to it grow throughout the southwestern country.
They are excellent stock foods, and when game was abundant in this
region vast numbers of deer and antelopes are said to have fattened
upon the wild beans and vetches that grew in the canyons and mountain
ravines. Now the wild beans, like many other useful plants, are
becoming very scarce, except in pastures which are not overstocked.
The beans are like the cultivated pole beans in habit, forming long
vines, climbing over weeds and bushes, and are sometimes nearly 50
feet ill length. The forage corresponds in feeding valu.e with the cultivated
cowpea. These beans are mlostly free seeders, and with a little
care may become much more abundant than at present. They are
perennials, with slender stems, large leaves, and, whatis of the greatest
importance, thick fleshy roots, which enable them to live through
long rainless periods.
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Bentley, Henry Lewis. Cattle Ranges of the Southwest, book, 1898; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2412/m1/31/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .