Short report from the 30th Meeting of the EUCARPIA Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses Section

The topic of 30th Meeting of the EUCARPIA Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses Section was “Quantitative traits breeding for multifunctional grasslands and turf”. The meeting was held in Vrnjačka Banja, Serbia form 12-16 May 2013. in organisation of the Institute for forage crops from Kruševac, Serbia. Scientific committee was headed by Dr Christian Huyghe, INRA, France and Organising committee was lead by Dr Dejan Sokolović, IFC, Serbia.

There were 125 registered participants from 25 countries from almost all European countries and USA, Mexico, Japan and Algeria from other continents.

Before the main Meeting on Sunday 12th very successful half day workshop, satellite meeting of Festulolium working group of Fodder crops and amenity grasses Section, was held with participation of 21 conference delegates. Report was given by Mike Humphreys (Chairman of Festulolium Working Group) from, IBERS, UK (in appendix of this report).

In Opening ceremony participants were addressed by Chairman of the Eucarpia Dr Beat Boller, Chairman of the Fodder crops and amenity grasses Section of Eucarpia Prof. Dirk Reheul, Director of the Institute for forage crops Dr Zoran Lugić and Meeting was opened by Deputy of Minister for education, science and technological development of the Republic of Serbia in charge for International cooperation Dr Radomir Žikić.

Main Meeting program was organised in plenary within Introductory and 4 sessions, one Workshop and concluding session. First session “Genetic variability in forage productivity and quality and its exploitation through breeding” due to large number of submitted offered papers was divided in two sub sessions, “The value of genetic resources for the improvement of complex traits” and “Exploiting genetic diversity for complex traits”. Second session, titled “New biotechnology methods in sustainable breeding: strategies and implementation”, covered all approaches and strategies which can make breeding more efficient in the future. Third session “Turf grass breeding” was only invited session with two invited papers, and fourth session “Breeding for new roles of multifunctional forage species” covered all topics which give fodder and turf crops new functions in agriculture and especially in ecology. During three working days participants presented 13 invited and 77 offered contributions in form of 24 oral and 66 poster presentations. 12 chosen posters were presented as short talks, as well.

Also history overview of Fodder crops and amenity grasses section was presented, where section historian Ulrich Posselt underlined last ten meetings. Broader report will be published on section website.

On Wednesday afternoon two hours workshops (round table) was held with topic “Public-Private Partnership – constrains and opportunities“. Moderators Ulrich Posselt (University of Hohenheim, Germany) and Charles Brummer (Noble Foundation, USA) led us to find answers on question how to boost innovation in forage and turf breeding. There were four speakers and very opened and live discussion.

During the Mid-conference tour which was organised on second day of the Meeting, participants visited experimental filed of Institute for forage crops and sow trials on legume breeding and production, grasses breeding and production and forage crops seed production. In afternoon hours dairy farm and plant Lazar in Blace was visited. This unique private farm has 400 cows, 200 heifers, 50 bulls and 150 calves. Every day they produce and transfer to the dairy plant 7.000 l of milk. Using Simmental cattle breed for milk and meat combined production they have achieved average yield 23 l of milk per cow. They produce animal feed, herbage and silage on 1000 ha and own their personal methane electricity power plant. Their ambitious plan is to within three years increase number of milking cows to 1300, with milk yield of 20 thousand litres daily. Midtour was finished with visit to city Krusevac, centre of Rasina district which has most developed cattle husbandry in Serbia.

Presented papers on the Meeting are printed in the form of abstracts in Book of abstracts before the Meeting (available on line). Full papers will be published after reviewing process in Springer book as Proceedings from the Meeting, with all papers as separate chapters.

Krusevac, Serbia,
05. 06. 2013.

Report submitted by
Dr Dejan Sokolović
Chairman of the Organizing committee

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