U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Robins, J.G., B.L. Waldron, K.P. Vogel, J.D. Berdahl. M.R. Haferkamp, K.B. Jensen, T.A. Jones, R.B. Mitchell, B.K. Kindiger. 2007. Characterization of testing locations for developing cool-season grass species. Crop Sci. 47:1004-1012.


U.S. government work


The identification of best testing locations facilitates the allocation of resources in a breeding program, allowing emphasis to be placed at the sites best suited for identifying superior plant materials for the target environment. The objective of this study was the identification of best locations for the evaluation and testing of cool-season grass species within the Northern Great Plains and Intermountain regions of the USA. This study also sought to subdivide the locations into meaningful environmental groupings based on similar entry performance. The study characterized initial stand frequency and forage production (over a 3-yr period) of crested wheatgrass [Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn.; A. desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schultes; A. fragile (Roth) Candargy], intermediate wheatgrass [Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkworth & D.R. Dewey], and smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) at six locations within these regions. Results suggested the existence of best testing locations and environmental groupings for each of the species. For example, the Ithaca, NE, location was consistently a good location for testing forage production. Although there were some consistencies, generally, the best testing locations and environmental groupings were species and trait specific. Thus, the targeted use of locations appeared to be most useful on an individual species basis, rather than considered across the cool-season grass species.