Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337595

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: 'USDA-FORAGECREST', a new crested wheatgrass cultivar with improved seedling establishment and forage production on semiarid western U.S. rangelands

Author
item Jensen, Kevin
item Larson, Steven
item Rigby, Craig

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Registrations
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2017
Publication Date: 6/29/2017
Citation: Jensen, K.B., Larson, S.R., Rigby, C.W. 2017. 'USDA-FORAGECREST', a new crested wheatgrass cultivar with improved seedling establishment and forage production on semiarid western U.S. rangelands. Journal of Plant Registrations. 11(3):295-301. https://doi.org/10.3198/jpr2016.11.0069crc.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3198/jpr2016.11.0069crc

Interpretive Summary: Rangelands of the intermountain west, Great Basin, and Northern Great Plains receiving less than 12 inches of annual precipitation are frequently dominated by annual invasive weeds as a result of severe landscape disturbance, frequent fire and soil erosion. 'USDA-FORAGECREST' was selected for visual plant vigor, leafiness, color retention, seed yield (g plant-1), seed mass (g 100 seeds-1), and ability to emerge from a 7.6-cm planting depth. Morphologically, USDA-FORAGECREST has longer glumes and glume awns than did cultivars Hycrest II, Hycrest, and Nordan. USDA-FORAGECREST had more seedlings emerge than cultivars Douglas, Hycrest II, Hycrest, Newkirk, and Nordan. Plant persistence in USDA-FORAGECREST was greater than Hycrest II, Hycrest, Newkirk, and Nordan two, three, and five years after seeding. When combined multiple years, forage production of USDA-FORAGECREST at 2.824 kg ha-1 was 24%, 14%, and 19% greater than Hycrest II, Hycrest, and Nordan, respectively. FORAGECREST, like other crested wheatgrass cultivars, resists invasion of annual cheatgrass and medusahead competition better than most rangeland grass species because it germinates relatively early and grows rapidly at colder spring temperatures. Thus, FORAGECREST provides rancher and land management agencies with additional plant material to aid in the fight against cheatgrass and other annual invasive on our western rangelands.

Technical Abstract: 'USDA-FORAGECREST' crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.) (Reg. No. CV-__, PI _____) was released by the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service on 1 September 2016. It is expected, that 'USDA-FORAGECREST' will establish and persist over time providing dry-matter yield (DMY) similar to or greater than current crested wheatgrass cultivars on rangelands of the Intermountain West, Great Basin, and Northern Great Plains Regions of the United States receiving less than 300 mm of annual precipitation. 'USDA-FORAGECREST' originated from a cross between crested wheatgrass cultivar Hycrest and PI 406442. Six cycles of recurrent selection were applied to this population for improved seedling establishment, plant persistence, and seed yield and mass. Based on six amplified fragment polymorphism primer pairs, 'USDA-FORAGECREST' is most similar to Kirk, followed by Nordan and Hycrest and least similar to RoadCrest. At Aberdeen, ID (2012), 'USDA-FORAGECREST' demonstrated significantly (P<0.05) greater seedling-frequency percentage in the establishment year (98.3%) than Hycrest II (93.5%), Hycrest (92.6%), and Nordan (82.5%). At Beaver (2005) and Nephi (2011) UT sites seedling-frequency percentage of 'USDA-FORAGECREST' was similar to Hycrest II and Hycrest, but significantly (P<0.05) greater than Nordan at Beaver, UT(56.8%). Five years after seeding at Beaver, UT 'USDA-FORAGECREST' had significantly (P<0.05) greater plant-frequency percentage (96.2%) than Hycrest (86.1%) and Nordan (80.9%) and was similar to Hycrest II (89.6%) and Douglas (88.2%). Combined across locations and years, DMY of 'USDA-FORAGECREST' (2,824 kg ha-1) was significantly (P<0.05) greater than Hycrest II (2,149 kg ha-1) and Nordan (2,300 kg ha-1), but similar to Hycrest (2,433 kg ha-1).