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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Research Project #420897

Research Project: Development of Novel Cool-Season Grasses, Legumes, and Forage Shrub Germplasm for Use in Irrigated and Non-Irrigated Dry Environments

Location: Forage and Range Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To develop novel cool-season grass and legume germplasm and associated managemment technologies for use in irrigated and non-irrigated temperate growing environments.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Collaborative experiments will be designed and implemented, either in the laboratory or the field, depending upon the specific research objectives. Laboratory experiments will be conducted jointly in Logan, Utah, and the Department of Grassland Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing (DGS) where research concerning the evaluation of germplasm for abiotic stress environments and associated management practices are being conducted. Where experiments involve the development of breeding and management technologies for the identification and use of unique grass and legume genotypes, work will be performed in Logan, Utah, and by the DGS. Germplasm evaluation of Chinese and U.S. grass and legume accessions (cultivars and lines) will be conducted in the Great Basin Region of Utah and in Hebei Province (north, near Inner Mongolia), China, under irrigated and non-irrigated growing conditions and in the greenhouse as deemed appropriate. This research will attempt to: 1) assess the genetic diversity of grasses, legumes, and forage shrub germplasm native to dry, temperate regions of China; 2) develop grass, legume, and forage shrub plant materials with improved pasture, turf, and rangeland characteristics; 3) develop plant materials adapted to dry, temperate regions under reduced management inputs (e.g., irrigation and fertilizer); 4) develop improved breeding procedures and management practices; and 5) develop new genetic methodologies for use in evaluation and breeding.

3. Progress Report:
This project continues to be a valuable asset to the FRRL. In late 2012 and early 2013, a plan was conceived to have a 2013 U.S./Sino Grass Alliance meeting at Harbin, China, where a meeting would be help with all alliance members (10) to discuss on-going research and develop plans for more cooperative research efforts among Chinese institutions. Site visits to cooperative research plots also associated with this meeting were planned to allow cooperators to see research at other institutions. These activities were designed to allow for training of Chinese scientists by FRRL scientists in data collection and for assessment of trial plots for future data collection. These planned activities did not come to fruition because of USDA travel restrictions and congressionally instituted budget rescissions in which travel to this meeting by FRRL personal could not be accommodated. A similar meeting will be planned in 2014, which will seek to reach the objectives of the meeting planned in 2013.

4. Accomplishments