Date of this Version
Vogel, K.P., Reece, P.E., and Lamb, J.F.S. (1984). Evaluation of crested wheatgrass introductions for forage yield and quality (Research Bulletin No. 304)
Crested wheatgrass, Agropyron cristatum and A. desertorum, are among the most important cool-season forage grasses in the United States and Canada, particularly for reseeding arid range sites. Further improvement in this grass by breeding depends on identifying sources of genetic variability for forage yield and quality. Foreign introductions are an obvious source of genetic variation since crested wheatgrasses are introduced species. In this study 38 accessions (PI lines) and 8 Nebraska experimental lines were evaluated for forage quality as measured by in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) and protein content and for forage yield. The cultivars 'Ruff' and 'Nordan' and two clonal lines were included as checks. The strains were evaluated at Lincoln and Alliance, NE., which differ markedly in climate. There were large differences among strains evaluated for all traits including first- and second-cut forage yield, IVDMD, protein content, heading date, height and first year basal spread. Utilization of PI 369167, PI 369170, Ruff, and Nordan in a breeding program could result in crested wheatgrasses with improved forage yield and quality.