Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Developing Better Forage For Feeding Hungry Cattle Year Round

Date:
January 31, 2008
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
A herd of hungry cattle isn't a pretty sight. So scientists are developing forage grasses that provide nutritious forage to livestock in the southern Great Plains, US, throughout the year. A key goal of this work is producing both warm-season and cool-season forage grasses that can live for long periods on highly erodible lands. Candidates need to be able to withstand major challenges from extended dry spells, insect pests and plant diseases.

Technician Dana Smith (left) and geneticist Jason Goldman evaluate new bluegrass hybrid seedlings at Woodward.
Credit: Photo by Jason Goldman

A herd of hungry cattle isn't a pretty sight. So scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are developing forage grasses that provide nutritious forage to livestock in the southern Great Plains throughout the year.

A key goal of this work is producing both warm-season and cool-season forage grasses that can live for long periods on highly erodible lands. Candidates need to be able to withstand major challenges from extended dry spells, insect pests and plant diseases.

ARS rangeland scientist Phillip Sims, agronomist Tim Springer and plant geneticist Jason Goldman work at the ARS Southern Plains Range Research Station (SPRRS), Woodward, Okla. Research at Woodward revolves around three grasses native to the southern Plains—Texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera), eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) and sand bluestem (Andropogon hallii).

In 2005, the Woodward station released an important new eastern gamagrass called "Verl." It was the first gamagrass release that had been selected from a hybrid breeding program. In field trials, Verl equaled or surpassed standards set by "Pete," a highly productive gamagrass released in 1988.

Springer was a driving force behind a new sand bluestem variety called "Chet." This grass has a forage dry matter yield almost 9 percent greater than that of "Woodward," a key sand bluestem variety developed during the 1950s.

Hardy Texas bluegrass has survived heat and drought for centuries. But it is susceptible to diseases like leaf rust, and the seed is difficult to harvest and plant.

Goldman and Sims are developing useful forage hybrids for the southern Plains by cross-breeding Texas bluegrass with other grass species and with bluegrasses from other regions. They have produced more than 80 hybrid types, many of which are complex hybrids of three different species. Although these species are not released yet, they offer great promise as feed for cattle in U.S. Southern Plains.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Developing Better Forage For Feeding Hungry Cattle Year Round." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080126082643.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2008, January 31). Developing Better Forage For Feeding Hungry Cattle Year Round. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080126082643.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Developing Better Forage For Feeding Hungry Cattle Year Round." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080126082643.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) — Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins