Researchers from the small grains breeding programs at the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the University of Georgia (UG) have been working together to provide farmers with improved winter forage varieties. And now farmers can literally start to reap the benefits.
Seed is now available for Horizon 321 oats and AGS 104 rye, new varieties developed by the multi-disciplinary research team comprised of Ronald D. Barnett, Ann R. Blount, and Paul Pfahler from UF/IFAS and Jerry Johnson, Barry Cunfer, G. David Buntin, and Dan Bland from UG.
Horizon 321 is a new winter oat cultivar that has considerable potential for both grain and forage production in the Southeast. Horizon 321 is a mid-season winter oat with excellent grain and forage production potential, good test weight and excellent disease resistance.
It most closely resembles its Horizon 314 parent, but is about three days earlier in heading and has better disease resistance particularly to stem rust. It also has a better yield record than Horizon 314 for both grain and forage production.
It has very good crown and stem rust resistance to the current races of these diseases. Horizon 321 is several days later in maturity than Horizon 474 an excellent early maturing oat released several years ago.
Horizon 321 has been released exclusively to Plantation Seeds in Newton, Ga. for marketing.
AGS 104 is a new rye line that performs very well for early season forage production, has good leaf resistance, and works well in blends with ryegrass for long season forage production. A license to market the rye has been granted to AGSouth Genetics, Inc of Albany, Ga.
This rye was developed from a recurrent selection program where 2,000 plants were planted in isolated spaced planted nurseries. The researchers went though the populations, eliminating undesirable plants at least four times each growing season and only the best 50 plants were harvested from each population to bulk to grow for the next cycle of selection. They eliminate plants based on poor forage growth, disease susceptible, and lack of vigor and select those plants that are high tillering, excellent forage producers, disease resistant, proper maturity, and good seed producers.
AGS 104 went through four of these cycles of selection before the seed were increased for release.
Both oats and rye are widely used in winter annual forage programs both for livestock and wildlife and these new varieties will improve the performance of these crops for the producers because of their improved disease resistance and adaptation to the southeast.
For more information on the UF/IFAS small grains breeding program visit http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu.