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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 40 No. 4, p. 1019-1025
     
    Received: June 14, 1999


    * Corresponding author(s): mdcasler@facstaff.wisc.edu
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2000.4041019x

Genetic Progress from 40 Years of Orchardgrass Breeding in North America Measured under Hay Management

  1. M. D. Casler *a,
  2. S. L. Falesb,
  3. A. R. McElroyc,
  4. M. H. Hallb,
  5. L. D. Hoffmanb and
  6. K. T. Leathd
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1597 USA
    b Dep. of Agronomy, The Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA 16802 USA
    c Agric. and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Canada K1A 0C6
    d Dep. of Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA 16802 USA

Abstract

There has been considerable activity in breeding orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) cultivars in North America during the latter half of the 20th century, but little effort devoted to quantification of breeding progress. The objectives of this study were to quantify changes in mean cultivar performance for that time compared with the progress achieved from one cycle of half-sib progeny selection within the USDA population of orchardgrass accessions. Forty-two cultivars (32 North American cultivars and 10 European cultivars) were tested at three locations (Arlington, WI and Rock Springs, PA, and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) in 1995 through 1997. Cultivars were grouped into three experiments by maturity class: early, medium, and late. North American cultivars averaged 3, 9, and 12% higher in forage yield than European cultivars for early, medium, and late maturity groups, respectively. Between 1955 and 1997, forage yield and ground cover of early-maturity cultivars increased by 2.5 Mg ha−1 decade−1 and 4.0% decade−1, respectively. Forage nutritional value of medium-maturity cultivars increased during that time, although this was probably not due to direct selection. Significant gains were made in forage yield and Drechslera spp. leafspot reaction of cultivars derived from two individual breeding programs, although the majority of orchardgrass cultivars lack improvements in forage traits.

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