1. Staff

Mike Trammell

Former Senior Plant Breeder

Current Research

The Problem

There is a forage gap from autumn through spring, when bermudagrass is dormant in the Southern Great Plains. This is a reason behind many livestock producers' need to feed hay during the winter, which can be a costly practice.

The Approach

Our breeding work aims to develop perennial cool-season forage cultivars to help fill the forage gap. We focus on two main species: tall fescue and alfalfa. We select for grazing persistence, heat and drought tolerance, winter survival, high biomass, seed yield, forage quality and disease resistance. Traditional, field-based, plant breeding methodology combined with the recent implementation of sensor technology is the primary approach used to fill this forage gap with next-generation cultivars.

Current Projects

  • Development of a high forage quality, grazing persistent, soft leaf tall fescue cultivar with a novel endophyte adapted for the Southern Great Plains
  • Development of a grazing persistent continental, endophyte-free, tall fescue cultivar
  • Development of improved Mediterranean tall fescue cultivars for the dry summer environments of the Southern Great Plains
  • Transferring the summer dormancy trait from Mediterranean tall fescue germplasm into higher yielding continental tall fescue germplasm for the development of hybrids
  • Development of a standardized field assay for summer dormancy
  • Development of conventional, grazing persistent alfalfas with a fall dormancy range of 5-8 for the Southern Great Plains
  • Master of Science in Plant Biology, University of South Dakota, 1994
  • Bachelor of Science, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 1990
  • Associate of Science, Seminole Junior College in Seminole, Oklahoma, 1988
Released Varieties and Germplasm
  • Texoma MaxQ II tall fescue (2009, commercialized by Pennington Seed Company)
  • NF97T1 tall fescue (2013)
  • NFTW6001 tall wheatgrass germplasm (2014, National Plant Germplasm Resource Center)
  • Plainsmen tall wheatgrass (2014, commercialized by Johnston Seed Company)
  • Impact crabgrass (2016, commercialized by Barenbrug USA)
  • Renovation white clover (2016, commercialized by Smith Seed Services)
  • Chisholm tall fescue (2016, commercialized by Warner Brothers Seed Company)