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Downy Brome

Scientific Name

Bromus tectorum L. (ITIS)

Common Name

Downy brome, bronco grass, downy chess, drooping brome, June grass, early chess, military chess, cheatgrass

Native To
Date of U.S. Introduction
Means of Introduction

Introduced accidentally as a seed contaminant (Bartlett et al. 2002)

Impact

Crowds out native grasses (Mosley et al. 1999); creates wildfire hazards (Colorado State Parks 2005)

Downy brome

Cheatgrass, features; ligule

Credit

Photo by Fred Fishel; University of Missouri

Find more images

Spotlights

  • Firefighting Cattle: Targeted Grazing Makes Firebreaks in Cheatgrass

    • Oct 1, 2020
    • United States Department of Agriculture.

    • Cattle grazing on a nearly half mile wide targeted strip of cheatgrass near Beowawe, Nevada, created a firebreak that helped limit a rangeland fire to just 54 acres this past August compared to rangeland fires that more commonly race across thousands of acres of the Great Basin. This "targeted grazing" firebreak and eight others are part of an evaluation project being managed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), partnering with other federal, state and local agencies and local cattle ranchers in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon. These demonstration sites are being studied so the concept's efficacy and environmental impacts can be uniformly evaluated and compared.

      Cheatgrass, also known as downy brome, is an invasive annual that dominates more than 100 million acres of the Great Basin in the western U.S. Germinating each winter, cheatgrass grows furiously in spring and dies in early summer, leaving the range carpeted in golden dry tinder. The Great Basin now has the nation's highest wildfire risk, and rangeland fires are outpacing forest fires when it comes to acreage destroyed.

  • Cheating Cheatgrass

    • Oct 7, 2019
    • USDA. ARS. Tellus.

    • ARS scientists in Nevada, studied ways to control cheatgrass and restore rangelands to a healthy mix of plants, which in turn reduces wildfire threats, supports wildlife, and increases sustainable grazing resources.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Partnership
Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government
Academic
Citations