Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2007
Publication Date: 12/4/2007
Citation: Papadopolous, Y.A., Coulman, B., Michaud, R., Acharva, S.N., Bittman, S., Viands, D., Riday, H., Boe, A., Phillips, T., Casler, M.D. 2007. Forage breeding and new varieties. In: Proceedings of ForageFest 2007 Sustainable Forage Production From Field to Bunk, Abbotsford Soil Conservation Association, Abbotsford BC. December 4, 2007. Paper Number 3.
Technical Abstract: At Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the focus of the forage breeding program is to identify and develop novel germplasm and cultivars. The main objective is to produce cultivars with superior persistence, nutritive value and forage yield. This program also emphasizes two other objectives, namely: 1) to identify or develop new germplasm which can produce a significant improvement in soil structure and general health; and 2) to develop red clover germplasm containing useful organic molecules which may lead to new bio-based products having high value to the nutraceutical industry. In addition to cultivar and germplasm development the above researchers are currently investigating efficient breeding methodologies responsible for developing cultivars adapted to diverse regions across Canada rather than being focussed on regional adaptations. In this presentation we will cover recent advances from these studies as they relate to novel gemplasm development. As AAFC forage researchers are of limited number and resources are limited as well, breeding efforts are focussed on a few major forage species used in Canada; namely, timothy, meadow and hybrid bromegrass, crested wheatgrass, alfalfa, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil. Despite the fact that AAFC breeding programs in other forage species have been or will be discontinued, the above AAFC researchers are currently in the process of commercializing several new cultivars and germplasm of the following species: orchardgrass, smooth bromegrass, white clover, alsike clover, and kura clover.