UMN and MTGF Virtual Field Day 2013, Improving Ryegrass Seed Production

Garett Heineck

Garett Heineck

Graduate Research Assistant

Turfgrass Breeding

[email protected]



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There are over 40,000 acres of perennial ryegrass grown for seed production in northern Minnesota.

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Improving Perennial Ryegrass Seed Production

The focus of my research revolves around improving perennial ryegrass seed production in northern Minnesota.  One of the issues that seed producers are facing is an inability to produce seed in the second year of production.  Solving this problem could lead to farmers saving money by lowering inputs needed to produce the ryegrass seed.  My research approach will attempt to resolve this problem through both breeding and improved agronomic practices. 

Perennial ryegrass has a comparatively low winter hardiness which, could be a contributing factor to decreased seed production in the second year.  I will attempt to improve this by continuing to breed for increased winter hardiness by conventional mean.  I will also strive to develop new screening techniques, which will allow for detection of germplasm with increased winter hardiness.  New agronomic practices that are being tested combine different residue management schemes with an assortment of plant growth regulators.  The planned effect of these treatments is to increase the amount of vernalized tillers in the spring, allowing for improved seed production.