Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2003
Publication Date: November 1, 2003
Citation: Vogel, K.P., Mitchell, R. 2003. Breeding big bluestem for improved performance by grazing livestock. Agronomy Abstracts Annual Meeting [CD-ROM], ASA, CSSA, SSSA. Madison, WI. Technical Abstract: Three cycles of restricted, recurrent phenotypic selection for forage yield and in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) were conducted in base populations, 'Pawnee' and 'Kaw' big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). Pawnee is based on collections from SE Nebraska while Kaw is based on accessions from the Kansas Flint Hills. Both cultivars have a broad genetic base. A selection index was used to make selections which gave forage yield and IVDMD equal weight. Cycle 3 (C3) populations have been evaluated in space-plant nurseries, small plot trials, and in grazing trials. In space-planted trials, the selected populations had greater yields and IVDMD than the parent populations. In small plot trials at three locations, the C3 populations were equivalent or greater in forage yield than the parent populations and had greater IVDMD. In grazing trials, the Pawnee C3 and Kaw C3 populations produced greater average daily gain and gain per hectare than the parent populations (See abstract by Mitchell et al.). Recurrent selection in big bluestem for high yield and IVDMD produced populations that improved gains per animal and per hectare when grazed by beef cattle.