Developing forage cultivars for the grazing industries of New Zealand
AgResearch and Massey University
Date: Thursday 23 August 2018
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Place: Room MA241, 2nd floor, Science III building
Grass and legume based swards play a key role in forage dry matter production for the grazing industries of New Zealand. The genetic merit of this feed base is a primary driver in the profitability, production and environmental footprint of our pastoral systems. A significant challenge to sustainability of this dynamic ecosystem will be climate change. Elevation of ambient temperature and increases in the occurrence of moisture stress events will be a major constraint to forage plant vegetative persistence and seasonal dry matter production. Successful animal breeding has resulted in developing breeds that have higher feed requirements, resulting in increased grazing pressure on swards. The forage science group at AgResearch is actively focused on developing high merit forage grass, legume and herb cultivars. The aim is to optimise plant breeding systems and maximise rates of genetic gain applying conventional plant breeding methods, high throughput phenotyping and new molecular research tools.
Dr Zulfi Jahufer is a senior research scientist in quantitative genetics and forage plant breeding. He also conducts the Massey University course in plant breeding. His seminar will focus on the development of novel forage grass and legume cultivars; he will also introduce the new plant breeding software tool DeltaGen.