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Development of new hybrid bromegrass lines with improved forage yield and regrowth

Posted on 06.02.2017 | Last Modified 28.04.2020
Lead Researcher (PI): Coulman, Bruce
Institution: University of Saskatchewan
Total WGRF Funding: $69,000
Co-Funders: Agriculture Development Fund
Start Date: 2015
Project Length: 4 Years
Objectives:

To combine the vigor and productivity of hybrid brome with the faster regrowth of meadow brome. To further evaluate and select lines of hybrid brome with adaptation to all production regions. To select high seed yielding plants for cultivar development.

Project Summary:

Hybrid bromegrass has become a popular hay and pasture grass used by cattle producers in western Canada since the release of the first variety in 2000. This grass produces a high first cut hay yield and then regrows rapidly following a cut or grazing. In spite of its high productivity, there are characteristics of this grass that could be improved. The objectives of this project were to: 1) Improve the forage yield and adaptation of hybrid brome to moister regions; 2) Improve the seed yield of hybrid brome to reduce the cost of seed to producers; and 3) Improve the regrowth of hybrid brome following a cut. The project was carried out at the University of Saskatchewan and AAFC Saskatoon Research Center Farms in Saskatoon from 2015-19. A total of 16 new lines of hybrid brome were selected to address the objectives of the project. Initial evaluations were done for some of the lines selected earlier in the project. The most promising finding was for one of the lines selected for improved seed yield. It yielded 24% more seed and 4% more forage than the check variety, AC Knowles, over a two-year period. Seed of this line will be increased for regional testing and possible release of a new variety. Other lines were also promising in forage yield and further evaluation of all lines selected for higher forage and seed yields and improved regrowth will be done over the next two to three years as part of the University of Saskatchewan forage breeding program. The results of this evaluation will determine whether other lines will be released as new cultivars.