Plant breeding for resilient pastures


  • John Caradus Grasslanz
  • Joe Bouton University of Georgia and Bouton Consulting Group
  • Charlie Brummer University of California-Davis
  • Marty Faville AgResearch
  • Richard George PGG Wrightson Seeds
  • David Hume AgResearch
  • Courtney Inch Barenbrug NZ
  • Graham Kerr Barenbrug NZ
  • Stephane Montel Cropmark Seeds
  • Alan Stewart PGG Wrightson Seeds
  • Derek Woodfield PGG Wrightson Seeds



forage, genetic improvement, heritability, selection, traits


Plant breeding has had, and continues to have, an important role in providing farmers with resilient pastures. Early breeding relied on improvement of ecotype populations and this was accelerated by crossing with selected introduced germplasm. The primary traits under selection have targeted speed of establishment, total and/or seasonal dry matter (DM) yield, nutritive value or feed quality, flowering time and reduced aftermath heading, disease resistance, persistence and seed yield. Continued improvement through plant breeding to meet environmental concerns and tolerances to both biotic and abiotic stresses will be achieved through ongoing plant introductions, exploiting heterosis, speed breeding, genomic selection, improvements in phenotyping, metabolomics, improved compatibility with beneficial microbes, and potentially the use of transgenic and gene editing technologies.






Resilient Pastures Symposium 2021