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Breeding and Genetics of Forage Crops to Improve Productivity, Quality, and Industrial Uses
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
Forage crops constitute the foundation of livestock and dairy enterprises in the US and Canada while also serving vital environmental functions. This project addresses the genetic improvement of forage crops for traits involved in productivity, quality and industrial uses.
2010 Project Description
We continue to maintain 400 orchardgrass clones for use in collaborative forage breeding. A grazing preference trial with 40 entries, mostly tall fescue, has been completed after four grazing sessions over two years. Parental nurseries of switchgrass, eastern gamagrass, and big bluestem have been established for use in developing improved populations for biomass and forage production in KY.
Results from our grazing preference trial indicate that beef cattle do not discriminate among tall fescue cultivars with different endophyte infection states, but do show preference for non-tall fescue entries (orchardgrass, festulolium, meadow fescue, and meadow bromegrass) and somewhat less of a preference for soft-leaved tall fescue entries vs. rough-leaved, Kentucky 31 type tall fescue populations.
Handayani, I.P., M.S. Coyne, and T.D. Phillips. 2010. Soil Organic Carbon Fractions Differ in Two Contrasting Tall Fescue Systems. Journal of Plant and Soil Science. DOI:10.1007/s11104-010-0352-z
J. A. Siegrist, R. L. McCulley, L. P. Bush, and T. D. Phillips. 2010. Alkaloids may not be responsible for endophyte-associated reductions in tall fescue decomposition rates. Functional Ecology 24:460-468, DOI:10:1111/j.1365-2435.2009.01649.x