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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Develop Improved Plant Genetic Resources to Enhance Pasture and Rangeland Productivity in the Semiarid Regions of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Rangeland and warm-season forage grasses

Authors
item Jensen, Kevin
item Anderson, William

Submitted to: Yield Gains in Major U.S. Field Crops
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 2013
Publication Date: February 20, 2014
Citation: Jensen, K.B., Anderson, W.F. 2014. Rangeland and warm-season forage grasses. In: Smith, S., Diers, B., Specht, J., Carver, B., editors. Yield gains in major U.S. field crops. CSSA Special Publications 33. Madison, WI: American Society of Agronomy, Inc., Crop Science Society of America, Inc., and Soil Science Society of America, Inc. p. 219-266.

Interpretive Summary: Livestock ranchers depend on grassland grazing for a substantial part of their livestock management systems. Grassland forages make up to 85% of the feed supply for ruminant animal products, especially in warm climates. Most of the breeding and selection for improved seedling establishment and persistence with a lesser emphasis on DMY has been within the introduced grasses such as crested and Siberian wheatgrass, Russian wildrye, intermediate and tall wheatgrass, with limited selection taking place in native grasses such as Snake River wheatgrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, and slender wheatgrass. The majority of breeding and improvement of warm-season grass DMY for southeastern United States has also been done with introduced species such as bermudagrass and bahiagrass. Selection and release from ecotypes have been done for some native species with limited success. In this book chapter, we will review significant dryland grasses documenting the gains in seed traits, seedling establishment, plant persistence, and forage production for native and non-native cool- and warm-season grasses.

Technical Abstract: Livestock ranchers depend on grassland grazing for a substantial part of their livestock management systems. Grassland forages make up to 85% of the feed supply for ruminant animal products, especially in warm climates. Grass breeding in general creates some unique breeding challenges ranging from diversity in pollination systems, complex genetic systems that include high chromosome numbers and high ploidy levels, heterozygosity within and between populations, poor seed production, and long-lived perennials thus requiring many years to evaluate persistance and productivity. Most of the breeding and selection for improved seedling establishment and persistence with a lesser emphasis on DMY has been within the introduced grasses such as crested and Siberian wheatgrass, Russian wildrye, intermediate and tall wheatgrass, with limited selection taking place in native grasses such as Snake River wheatgrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, and slender wheatgrass. The majority of breeding and improvement of warm-season grass DMY for southeastern United States has also been done with introduced species such as bermudagrass and bahiagrass. Selection and release from ecotypes have been done for some native species with limited success. In this book chapter, we will review significant dryland grasses documenting the gains in seed traits, seedling establishment, plant persistence, and forage production for native and non-native cool- and warm-season grasses.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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