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Small grains breeding has been an integral part of the Noble Research Institute work since the early 1950s.
Wind and water carries tons of topsoil, the foundation of life, away from farmland each year. The soil, and its ability to produce food, slowly weakens. Farmers and ranchers are increasingly adopting an old-time armor for soil: cover crops. But they have many questions that still need answered.
Advanced line trials will be evaluated in 2019 for performance in a broader range of geographic areas as a step toward release of commercial cultivars adapted for us as cover crops.
In May 2017, the cover crop breeding network met to identify plant species and traits that would be evaluated and improved for use as cover crops across the U.S.
In addition to advanced line trials, sensor box validation trials were initiated in 2020 at each collaborator site to develop prediction models using height.
The primary goal of Noble Research Institute’s Small Grains Breeding Program is to develop small grains cultivars with increased grazing tolerance, winter hardiness, forage yield and forage quality to benefit livestock production.
Thousands of miles away from the small Chinese village where Xuefeng Ma, Ph.D., grew up, his work at Noble Research Institute has brought him full circle to lessons learned as a child.