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Book: Contributions from Breeding Forage and Turf Grasses
Published by: Crop Science Society of America



  1.  p. 21-29
    CSSA Special Publication 15.
    Contributions from Breeding Forage and Turf Grasses

    D. A. Sleper, K. H. Asay and J. F. Pedersen (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-594-9


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Progress and Benefits to Humanity from Breeding Warm-Season Forage Grasses

  1. Glenn W. Burton
  1. USDA-ARS, University of Georgia, Tifton, Georgia


Breeders in the Western region have produced 75 cultivars of warm-season forage grasses; all but 16 are native grasses. Breeders in the Southern region have developed 50 cultivars of 10 adapted warm-season forage grass introductions. Generally, adaptation and yield have been increased, sometimes as much as 100%. Such yield increases with the same inputs greatly improve the efficiency of the livestock industry. The benefits to humanity are difficult to determine because no state or federal agricultural statistics agency collects information on the hectarage planted to warm-season grass cultivars. Cattlemen who have used the improved cultivars have benefited. One example is a Texas cattleman with 1600 ha of Coastal Bermuda grass who said “We'd be out of the cattle business without Coastal.” Progress to date indicates that well supported warm-season forage grass breeding projects in which the breeder obtains the cooperation of animal science and other needed disciplines should be able to increase the yield and efficiency of most warm-season grasses 25 to 50%. Such increases without added inputs will reduce feed costs, increase the cattleman's profits, and lower the prices the consumer must pay for animal products.

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Copyright © 1989. Copyright © 1989 by the Crop Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA