Submitted to: Book Chapter in Text Forages
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/30/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Plant breeding is human-directed evolution. This process has been used to develop all major crops and their respective races, strains, or cultivars. Although humans have successfully manipulated the genetic resources of plants for several thousand years, the science of genetics and breeding was not developed until the 20th century. Breeding work on a few forage crops began in the early part of the 20th century. Since then, hundreds of new cultivars have been developed and released, forming the foundation of the livestock economy. This chapter provides a broad overview of the forage breeding process, including: objectives, modes of plant reproduction, forage germplasm, breeding methods, selection methods, field trials of new cultivars, and cultivar release. The book chapter will be a useful and valuable resource for classroom students and forage outreach and research professionals.