Submitted to: Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Issue Paper
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2004
Publication Date: 5/1/2004
Citation: Kenna, M., Hallman, W.K., Auer, C.A., Casler, M.D., Hopkins, A., Karnok, K.J., Mallory-Smith, C., Shearman, R.C., Stier, J.C., Taliaferro, C.M. 2004. Biotechnology-derived, perennial turf and forage grasses: criteria for evaluation. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Issue Paper. No. 25. Ames. IA. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Biotechnology will help provide a means for major innovations to the multibillion-dollar turf and forage grass industries annually. More than 864 million acres include pasture, grassland, and rangeland that support beef, dairy, sheep, goats, swine, horses, poultry, and wildlife (deer, songbirds, wildfowl, etc.). Turfgrass acreage includes the lawns surrounding more than 70 million detached homes, approximately 17,000 golf courses, more than 300,000 acres of sod production, and nearly 30,000 sports field and park facilities, which maintain more than 700,000 fields in the United States. Careful attention to the deregulation and release of biotechnology-derived (BD) perennial grasses is needed, however, because of the diverse number and widespread distribution of grasses throughout U.S. urban and agricultural lands. If deemed safe for use and commercialization by U.S. regulatory agencies, BD perennial grasses should provide significant environmental and economic benefits. The main focus in the search for BD alternatives in grass breeding has been to protect natural resources. Scientists have worked diligently seeking solutions to protect scarce water resources and wildlife habitat, to decrease fertilizer and pesticide pollution, and to provide economical management practices for turf and forage grasses. This publication summarizes a 2-day workshop on the state-of-the-science of BD perennial turf and forage grasses. The goal of the workshop was to provide a forum for discussion of the current status of BD perennial turf and forage grasses, and to initiate a dialogue on the possible criteria used to determine the environmental safety and potential risks and benefits of these grasses relative to traditional varieties.