Germplasm Evaluation of Annual Sown Forage Legumes under Environmental Conditions Marginal for Crop Growth in the Highlands of West Asia
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Dyno (J. D. H. ) Keatinge, Asghar Ali, B. Roidar Khan, A. M. Abd El Moneim, S. Ahmad. (22/4/2008). Germplasm Evaluation of Annual Sown Forage Legumes under Environmental Conditions Marginal for Crop Growth in the Highlands of West Asia. journal of agronomy and crop science, 166 (1), pp. 48-57.
In the very large areas of arid highlands in West Asia, of which land over 1000 m in Balochistan is typical, as a result of rapidly increasing numbers of small ruminants and subsequent overgrazing of natural rangelands, severe shortages in animal feed are being experienced. To address this problem the And Zone Research Institute (AZRI) have been evaluating annual forage legume germplasm for adaptability to the harsh climatic conditions of highland Balochistan. Due to the marginality of the environment for sustained crop production an unconventional germplasm evaluation strategy has been adopted which emphasizes the introduction of landraces, particularly of the genus Vicia. The substantial risk of crop failure from either cold or drought, in any year, makes continuity of seed supply of selected lines a major problem. Support from ICARDA in Syria for re-supply of seed is a major advantage to the AZRI program. In the last three years some tangible progress has been made in selection. V. villosa ssp. dasycarpa Ace. 683 has with autumn sowing shown sufficient cold tolerance and is highly productive in wet years. V. ervilia Ace. 2542 has shown some potential for drought tolerance which could be exploited for spring sowing.
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