The primary focus of the Forage Breeding Project is breeding and genetic research on alfalfa to improve yield, quality, and persistence. Additionally, the project is also responsible for evaluating legume and grass cultivars for forage yield and quality, which consists of harvesting 4,000 – 5,000 plots at least three times per growing season.
In addition to the more traditional “forages-as-feed” research, the project evaluates perennial grasses and legumes as feedstocks for biofuel production.
Dr. Julie Hansen leads the Forage evaluation part of the project in which legumes and grasses are tested in Ithaca and around the state. Forage Yield Summaries and Trial Applications are available for download.
Led by Dr. Donald Viands, with funding from the NY Farm Viability Institute and the Northern NY Agricultural Development Program, the goal of this program is to define diverse and ecologically-friendly sources of lignocellulosic feedstocks for New York's fast-growing ethanol production industry. Learn more
The Forage Breeding Project is involved in NE-1710: Breeding and Genetics of Forage Crops to Improve Productivity, Quality, and Industrial Uses. Learn more