Xuefeng Ma, Ph.D.
During the winter season, warm-season grasses are dormant and unproductive. This contributes to a forage production gap between warm-season and cool-season perennials from September to March. Many cattle producers rely on feeding hay, which can be a costly practice, during this time.
Annual small grains can help fill the forage gap during winter months. To develop improved small grain cultivars for winter pasture, we conduct breeding nursery trials where thousands of wheat, rye, triticale and oat experimental plots are compared each year in various growing environments to select superior forage producing lines.
- Develop improved dual-purpose wheat cultivars that can be used for both forage and grain production
- Develop cold tolerant oat cultivars that demonstrate superior winterkill resistance and forage yield
- Develop rye and triticale cultivars with increased early fall yield and/or total forage yield