Genetic variation for forage yield of orchardgrass is abundant, but there are few reports of progress from selection for increased forage yield. The objective of this study was to estimate direct effects of selection from one cycle of half-sib family selection for forage yield in orchardgrass. Eleven selected populations were compared with their parent populations within three maturity groups. Populations were evaluated under hay management at three locations and management-intensive rotational grazing at two locations. Nine of the 11 selected populations differed, by an average of 7.4%, from their parent population in forage yield. Nine of the selected populations also showed changes in Drechslera leafspot reaction, all indicating a negative genetic correlation with forage yield. Selection for high forage yield tended to result in greater ground cover and later relative maturity. However, changes in net herbage accumulation (NHA) under rotational grazing were generally not significant and were uncorrelated with changes in forage yield, indicating that forage yield of hay plots is not correlated with the NHA of grazed plots. Although genetic gains in forage yield measured under hay management were very favourable relative to other reports from the literature, the lack of correlated progress under grazing management indicates that directed selection for NHA of orchardgrass should be conducted under grazing management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science