Crop Sci. 25: 575-576 (1985)

K. H. Asay, D. R. Dewey, F. B. Gomm, D. A. Johnson, and J. R. Carlson

`Bozoisky-select' Russian wildrye [Psathyrostachys juncea, (Fisch.) Nevski, Syn. Elymus junceus Fisch.] (Reg no. 97) was released by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in cooperation with the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station and the USDA-Soil Conservation Service on 2 July 1984.

The new cultivar was developed from PI 440627 (Bozoisky) recently obtained from the USSR. The breeding population was subjected to two cycles of selection for improved vigor, leafiness, seed yield, coleoptile length, and seedling vigor. Breeder's seed was obtained by bulking the open pollination seed of 23 clones selected from a nursery consisting of 210 second-cycles plants.

Bozoisky-Select has been significantly more vigorous and productive than the check cultivar `Vinall' in range seedings. At eight semiarid range locations in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, it yielded 23% more forage than Vinall during the first two production years. Stand establishment of the new cultivar has been equal to or superior to Vinall in over 20 trials representing the Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), Juniper (Juniperus spp.), shadscale [Atriplex confertifolia (Torr. & Frem.) S. Wats], greasewood [Sarcobatus vermiculatus (Hook.) Torr.], and Indian ricegrass [Oryzopis hymenoides (Roem. & Schult.) Ricker] ecosystems. Bozoisky-Select had better seedling vigor and larger seeds than Vinall of `Swift' in laboratory trials. Coleoptile length, a character associated with better seedling emergence from deep plantings, was significantly greater in Bozoisky-Select than in Vinall or Swift. Grazing trials indicate that the cultivar is equally palatable to grazing cattle as Vinall. Recommended seeding rate for seed production is 2.5 kg/ha in rows spaced approximately 1 m apart. When drilling on rangeland, 7 kg/ha is recommended.

Breeder seed will be maintained by the ARS at Logan, Utah. Foundation seed will be produced form breeder seed by the SCS Plant Materials Center at Bridger, Montana, and should be available by Spring, 1985. For information regarding supplies of Foundation seed, contact local soil conservation districts and the crop improvement association of the state in which the seed is to be planted.

Certification of two generations beyond the foundation class will be permitted.