Suresh Bhamidimarri, Ph.D.
Problem 1: A major problem for alfalfa cultivation in Southern Great Plains is the need for increased stand persistence under grazing conditions.
Problem 2: A forage gap is created during winter months when warm-season grasses are dormant and unproductive. Farmers rely on feeding hay to the livestock to fill this gap, which can be an expensive practice.
Approach 1: Stand persistence in alfalfa is influenced by many factors like insect and disease stress, drought, soil stresses, winter hardiness, etc. We employ traditional and molecular-marker-based population improvement methods to develop improved cultivars.
Approach 2: Winter annual legumes can fill the forage gap during winter months and can provide high quality nutrition for livestock of all classes. We evaluate hairy vetch, annual medics and crimson clover in various selection nurseries across years and locations; select superior performing genotypes; and advance them to form the next generation of cultivars.
- Developing grazing-tolerant alfalfa cultivars for the Southern Great Plains
- Developing alfalfa cultivars that can persist extended autumn grazing
- Developing pest-resistant alfalfa germplasm
- Developing winter annual forage legumes for the Southern Great Plains