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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Forage Seed and Cereal Research Unit » Research » Research Project #441933

Research Project: Expanding the Cover Crop Breeding Network: New Species and Traits for Organic Growers (Corvallis)

Location: Forage Seed and Cereal Research Unit

Project Number: 2072-21500-001-003-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

1. Improve cover crop legume performance through germplasm screening. a. Create a legume cover crop germplasm screening program that evaluates hairy vetch, crimson clover, red clover, and Austrian winter pea for select agronomic traits of interest across a latitudinal gradient. b. Build a network of farmers who will aid in variety selection through participatory germplasm screening. c. Identify select cover crop accessions for seed increases and future improvement. d. Contract buying groups or germplasm curators to conduct cover crop seed growouts. 2. Disseminate knowledge gained from on-farm and on-station cover crop germplasm screenings and management experiments and engage farmers and agricultural professionals through on-farm field days, regional workshops, webinars, and the eOrganic website.

The collaborative team will coordinate a national breeding program. We will expand to include improving cereal cover crop genetics. This target will include increasing allelopathy of cereal rye. There will be greater focus on insect damage to seed, G*E dynamics on seed production, and advanced line testing. We expect to work with seed companies on releasing new cultivars during the life of this grant.