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Promising native forage options for semi-arid prairies of western Canada

Khanal, N., Schellenberg, M., Biligetu, B. & Coulman, B. (2016) Promising native forage options for semi-arid prairies of western Canada. In Proceedings of the Crops and Soils 2016 held in Saskatoon on March 16 - 17, 2016.

Abstract

There is growing interest in native plant species for their use as forage, pasture, energy crop, and as land reclamation and revegetation materials. This article reports the results of population improvement work on northern wheatgrass (NWG), purple prairie clover (PPC), white prairie clover (WPC) and plains rough fescue (PRF) carried out at Swift Current Research and Development Centre - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Substantial selection differential were achieved in all species in terms of growth vigour, plant health, biomass and seed yield in all species. This suggests ample scope for selection gain for the desirable traits. Seed shattering is one of the challenges facing the domestication and commercialization of these native plant species.

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