Identification of new dual-purposed barley genotypes for the MENA region
Miguel Sanchez-Garcia. (31/12/2020). Identification of new dual-purposed barley genotypes for the MENA region.
Integrated crop and livestock farming is the predominant system in the Drylands of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Used traditionally by the most vulnerable farmers, these agroecosystems are particularly threatened by Climate Change. In these agricultural systems, farmers depend on forages and straw to feed their animals during summer and winter seasons (Ryan et al., 2008) and with the recent drought events and the over-use of pastoral lands fodder and forage prices increasing (FAOSTAT 2020). The ICARDA Global barley breeding program is aiming to develop new breeding lines that produce more forage with limited yield and straw penalty and high feed quality. Dual purpose strategies adapted to the environment can be up to 12% more profitable than grain alone (Ates et al., 2018) under optimum rainfall and can contribute to the whole system stability under drought by providing nutritious feed and forage sources for small ruminants when other sources are not available. In the present study we aim to test a set of 37 elite ICARDA barley genotypes and 3 commercial checks in the field in Morocco under simulated grazing and conventional conditions to determine their forage production, yield and biomass regeneration capacity and straw quality.