HISTORY OF SECTION

History of the Section (Waleria Myniec, Ulrich Poselt and David Kopecký)

EUCARPIA - The European Association for Research on Plant Breeding, was established in 1956 at a meeting presided over by A. W. van de Plassche, General Director for Agricultural Affairs in Holland, which preceded the first EUCARPIA CONGRESS in Wageningen, July 2-4, 1956 organized by C. Dorst the first President of EUCARPIA. The idea that the Association activities would be based on the work of sections, assembling people of similar professional interests was introduced at this first Congress. Seven sections were established (at present the number of sections has increased up to 11) and among them the SECTION of FODDER CROPS AND AMENITY GRASSES was one of the original.

The activities of the Section have been managed by a board, elected by the members. Since its inception the following have been Chairmen of the Board:

1958 - 1965 G. Hausmann (Lodi, Italy)

1965 - 1971 K. J. Frandsen (Taastrup, Denmark)

1971 - 1979 G. Julén (Svalöf, Sweden)

1979 - 1985 S. Badoux (Nyon, Switzerland)

1985 - 1994 M. D. Hayward (Aberystwyth, U.K.)

1994 - 1999 F. Veronesi (Perugia, Italy)

1999 - 2006 U.K. Posselt (Hohenheim, Germany)

2006 - 2011 B. Boller (Zürich, Switzerland)

2011 - 2019 Dirk Reheul (Gent, Belgium)

from 2019 David Kopecky (Olomouc, Czech Republic)


Working Groups

Within the Fodder Crops Section, working groups dealing with more special problems were established during the first organizational meeting on March 24-26, 1956 in Milano. They were directed by the following specialists:

Y. Demarly (Lusignan, France) the Working Group "Medicago sativa"

J. Hackbarth (Scharnhorst, Germany) the Working Group "Annual Legumes"

S. Bingeforst (Uppsala) and S.G.J. Ellerström and G. Julén (Svalöf) from Sweden, the Working Group "Red Clover"

F. Wit (Wageningen, The Netherlands) the Working Group "Grass Diseases"

In 1971, at the informal meeting of the Fodder Crops Section during the EUCARPIA CONGRESS in Cambridge (U.K.) the Working Group "Competition between fodder crop genotypes" coordinated by P. Jacquard (Montpelier, France) was formed, and at the Section Meeting in 1979 in Perugia, the next Working Group "Influence of Climatic Stress on Fodder Plant Breeding" supervised by H. Scheller (Freising - Weihenstephan, Germany) was set up.

In 1995 at the XIVth EUCARPIA CONGRESS in Jyväskylä, Finland (July 31 - August 3, 1995), a new Working Group on "Evaluating NIR techniques for uniformity of Quality determinations" was established.

In 2000, during the 23th meeting on the Azores, the newly established Working Group on Disease Resistance under the leadership of B. Boller and F.X. Schubiger from Switzerland started its activities on Multisite Rust Evaluation in the Loliums.

In 2011, during the 29th section meeting held in Dublin, Ireland, the Festulolium Working Group was established with Mike Humphreys elected as the group leader.

Up to now (2020), only the two working groups on Multisite Rust Evaluation and Festulolium are active.


Section Meetings

Until 1967 the EUCARPIA Fodder Crops Section Meetings were held irregularly, usually at the time of the successive EUCARPIA CONGRESSES in 1956, 1959, 1962 and 1965.

The first Meeting of the Section: 1967, September 20-21, was held at the Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research Köln-Vogelsang, Germany and organized by W. Hertzsch and colleagues. The two main topics were: "Breeding for disease resistance in grasses" and "Day-length reaction in relation to herbage plant breeding". A total number of 37 members from 11 countries attended the meeting.

The 2nd Meeting: 1969, April 15-17, was held at the Welsh Plant Breeding Station, Aberystwyth, U.K. and organized by P.T. Thomas and his coworkers from this Station. The main subjects were: "Physiological aspects of fodder crops breeding", "Breeding for improved quality in fodder crops and "The OECD - List of international control cultivars". 47 participants from 10 countries attended this Meeting.

The 3rd Meeting: 1970, September 14-16, was held at the Plant Breeding Station of INRA, at Lusignan, France. The Organizing Committee consisted of the staff of the INRA Fodder Plant Breeding Station at Lusignan, under the chairmanship of P. Mansat, Director of the Station. The main topic: BREEDING FOR YIELD IN CROSS FERTILIZED FORAGE PLANTS was discussed in the following three sessions: "Various breeding methods", "Theoretical and experimental results with and without inbreeding, different kind and cultivars, choice of constituents, yield evaluation in advanced generations of synthetics" and "Value of the results according to the stand density, components of dry-matter yield, and interaction between genotypes". The meeting was attended by 80 participants from 18 countries.

The 4th Meeting: 1972, September 4-7, was held in Dublin, Ireland, organized by M.A. do Valle Ribeiro and colleagues from the Plant Breeding Department of the Agricultural Institute in Carlow, Ireland. The topic of the meeting: EVALUATION OF BREEDING MATERIAL IN HERBAGE CROPS was discussed in three sessions: "Evaluation of grassland productivity", "Practical approach to biometrical evaluation of varieties and breeding material" and "Breeding in relation to competition". The meeting was attended by 81 participants from 15 countries.

The 5th Meeting: in May l973 was held at Wageningen, The Netherlands organized by H. Lamberts, the Director of the (Foundation for Agricultural Plant Breeding, S.V.P.) and his coworkers. The topic of the meeting was: NEW WAYS IN FODDER CROPS BREEDING including sessions "Intergeneric and interspecific hybridization in fodder crops (Lolium, Festuca, Poa and Brassica species)", "Registration of hybrid varieties", "Fertility problems in connection with new breeding methods like interspecific hybridization", "Breeding with the use of male sterility" and "Breeding of polyploid varieties". There were 75 participants from 15 countries.

The 6th Meeting: 1975, April 23-25, was held at the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agronomy in Zurich-Reckenholz, Switzerland organized by S. Badoux, R. Drop, H. Huber, J. Lehmann and B. Nüesch who acted as the Chairman. The topic of the meeting was PLOIDY IN FODDER PLANTS with three sessions: "Theoretical aspects of polyploidy", "Practical aspects of breeding auto tetraploid fodder plants" and "Other problems related to the ploidy level in fodder plants". 76 participants from 14 countries took part in the meeting.

The 7th Meeting: 1976, September 7-9, took place in Roskilde, Denmark, at the Lyngby School of Agriculture of the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University and was organized by K. J. Frandsen (Store Heddinge, Denmark) and his colleagues. The main topic of the Meeting was BREEDING METHODS AND VARIETY TESTING IN FORAGE PLANTS with three sessions: "Selection criteria and methods", "Adaptability and competitive ability" and "Adaptability and uniformity - a panel discussion". 80 persons from 13 countries participated in this meeting.

The 8th Meeting: 1978, September 4-9, was held in Radzików, Poland at the Institute of Plant Breeding and Acclimatization and organized by J. Bojanowski and his colleagues. The main topic of the Meeting was NUTRITIVE VALUE OF FODDER PLANTS with three sessions "Digestibility problems", "The protein complex" and "Antinutritional substances". The meeting was attended by 81 participants from 15 countries.

The 9th Meeting: 1979, September 4-6, was held at the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Perugia, Italy and organized by S. Ceccarelli and his coworkers from the Istituto di Allevamento Vegetale in Perugia. The main subject of the Meeting was BREEDING FODDER CROPS FOR STRESS CONDITIONS with three sessions: "Adaptation, collection and breeding for climatic stresses", "Physiological and morphological aspects of adaptation to climatic stress" and "Breeding for management stresses". The meeting was attended by 68 participants from 15 countries.

The 10th Meeting: 1981, September 8-10 was held at the Centre for Agricultural Research in Merelbeke, Gent, Belgium and was organized by G.W. van Bogaert and his colleagues. The topic of the meeting was BREEDING HIGH YIELDING FORAGE VARIETIES COMBINED WITH HIGH SEED YIELD with three sessions: "Physiological aspects of seed production", "Relationship between dry matter and seed yield" and "Selection for high seed production". The meeting was attended by 61 participants from 14 countries.

The 11th Meeting: 1982, September 13-16, was held at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth, U.K and organized by M.D. Hayward and his colleagues. Topic of the meeting was UTILIZATION OF GENETIC RESOURCES IN FODDER CROP BREEDING with three sessions: "The creation and exploitation of novel genetic resources and the scope for genetic exchange", "The evaluation of genetic resources" and "The utilization of genetic resources in breeding programs". The meeting was attended by 85 participants from 15 countries.

The 12th Meeting: 1984, September 17-20, was held at Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany and organized by U. Simon and his colleagues. The topic of the meeting was DEVE-LOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION AND MULTIPLICATION OF FODDER CROP VARIETIES with three sessions: "The development of fodder crop varieties", "The construction of fodder crop varieties" and "The multiplication of fodder crop varieties". The meeting was attended by 89 persons from 18 countries.

The 13th Meeting: 1985, September 16-19, was held at Rostanga near Svalöf in Sweden and organized by J. Sjödin and his coworkers. The topic of the Meeting was NEW METHODS, TECHNIQUES AND APPLICATIONS IN FODDER CROP BREEDING with three sessions: "New methods, techniques and applications in improvement of yield", "New methods, techniques and applications in improvement of quality" and "Miscellaneous new methods, techniques and applications". 65 persons from 19 countries participated in this Meeting.

The 14th Meeting: 1987, September 22-24, was held at Lusignan, France and organized by Ch. Poisson and his colleagues. The topic of the meeting was NATURAL VARIATION AND BREEDING FOR ADAPTATION with two sessions: "Description of natural variability and management of genetic resources" and "Breeding for adaptation to natural environment and to management". 120 persons from 23 countries attended this Meeting.

The 15th Meeting: 1988, September 5-9, was held in Szarvas, Hungary and organized by G. Marjai and his colleagues. The main subject of the meeting was BREEDING FOR VIGOUR IN FORAGE CROPS. The Meeting was attended by 53 participants from 18 countries.

The 16th Meeting: 1990, November 19-22, was held in Wageningen, The Netherlands and organized by A.P.M. den Nijs and A.J.P. van Wijk and their colleagues. The topic of the meeting was FODDER CROPS BREEDING: ACHIEVEMENTS, NOVEL STRATEGIES AND BIOTECHNOLOGY with two main themes: "What has been achieved in fodder crops breeding?" and "Novel strategies and biotechnology". The Meeting was attended by 117 participants from 21 countries.

The 17th Meeting: 1991, October 14-18, was held at Alghero, Sardinia, Italy and organized by the Institute of Agronomy of the University of Sassari and the National Research Council Centre for Pasture Studies. The main theme of the Meeting was PLOIDY AND CHROMOSOME MANIPULATION IN FORAGE BREEDING. The meeting was attended by 60 persons from 13 countries.

The 18th Meeting: 1993, August 25-28, was held at North Fjord-Loen, Norway and organized by Odd-Arne Rognli and his colleagues. The main topic was BREEDING OF FODDER CROPS FOR MARGINAL CONDITIONS with five sessions: "General aspects of adaptation to marginal conditions", "Collection and evaluation of plant populations for forage production under marginal conditions", "Adaptation and breeding of forage crops for marginal conditions", "Morphological and physiological aspects of breeding for marginal conditions" and "Genetic and genomic aspects of adaptation to marginal conditions". The Meeting was attended by 80 participants from 19 countries.

The 19th Meeting: 1994, October 5-8, was held at Brugge, Belgium and organized by D. Reheul and his colleagues. The topic of the meeting was BREEDING FOR QUALITY with seven sessions: "The importance of quality parameters", "The measurement of quality parameters", "Amenity grasses", "Germplasm screening and genetic variation for quality characteristics", "Breeding research", "Laboratory techniques" and "Variety development and assessment". The Meeting gathered together 92 participants from 19 countries.

The 20th, Jubilee Meeting: 1996, October 7-10 was held at the Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute in Radzikow, Poland and organized by H. Czembor (as honorary Chairman) and Z. Staszewski. The topic of the meeting was ECOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF BREEDING FODDER CROPS AND AMENITY GRASSES with three sessions: "Ecology and fodder crops breeding", "Amenity grass breeding today and in the future" and "Biotechnology for fodder crop and amenity grass improvement". The Meeting was attended by 129 participants from 21 countries.

The 21th meeting: 1997, September 9-12 was held at Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland, and was organized by Beat Boller and his colleagues from the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Zürich-Reckenholz. The topic oft the meeting was BREEDING OF A MULTIFUNCTIONAL AGRICULTURE. The meeting consisted of 3 sessions of oral and poster presentations covering the enhancement of production efficiency and the responses to new public demands, to global change and to environmental stress. In total, 25 oral contributions and 37 posters have been presented and discussed. The meeting was attended by 101 researchers from 26 countries.

The 22th meeting: 1999, October 17-21 was held at St. Petersburg, Russia. In spite of financial and many other constraints Igor A. Thikonovich and his committee managed to organise a successful meeting that had a different approach from many other meetings. The role that microbes can have on crop growth was clearly established. 21 Lectures and oral papers and more than 30 posters were presented and discussed. There were 140 participants from 25 countries of which 72 came from outside Russia.

The 23th meeting: 2000, October 2-5, was held in Angro do Heroismo,on the Azores, Portugal. and was organzized by Paulo Monjardino and colleagues from the University of the Azores. The topic of the meeting was BREEDING FOR STRESS TOLERANCE IN FODDER CROPS AND AMENITY GRASSES. The meeting consisted of 4 sessions of oral and poster presentations covering the area of: breeding methods, breeding for biotic stresses resistance, breeding for abiotic stresses tolerance, and agronomy and crop physiology. In addition 3 workshopswere held on breeding for disease resistance, breeding for drought tolerance and breeding methods. The meeting was attended by 70 researchers from 23 countries.

The 24th meeting: 2002, September 22-26 was held at the Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL) at Braunschweig, Germany, and was organized by Ulf Feuerstein and Christian Paul. The topic was GRASS FOR FOOD & GRASS FOR LEISURE. The meeting consisted of 4 sessions of lectures and poster presentations covering the area of: general topics, breeding methods, resistance breeding, forage quality and amenity grasses. On the whole, 24 lectures as well as 38 posters were presented and discussed. In addition a workshop was held on breeding methods to discuss breeding schemes among practical plant breeders and scientists. The meeting was attended by 120 researchers and breeders from 22 countries

The 25th meeting: 2003, September 1-4 was held at Brno, Czech Republic. The conference was organized by by Bohumir Cagas and Jan Nedelnik. The topic was BIODIVERSITY AND GENETIC RESOURCES AS THE BASES FOR FUTURE BREEDING: The meeting consisted of 4 sessions: current state of genetic resources, methodology of breeding for yield, resistance and quality, genetic markers for genetic resources characterization and breeding, and ecological role of grasses and legumes. 30 oral presentations as well as 70 posters were presented and discussed. The meeting was attended by 120 researchers and breeders from 29 countries.

The 26th meeting: 2006, September 3-7 was held at Perugia, Italy and was organized by Daniele Rosellini and colleagues. The 16th meeting of the Medicago Working Group was fully integrated into the scientific programme. The topic of the meeting was BREEDING AND SEED PRODUCTION FOR CONVENTIONAL AND ORGANIC AGRICULTURE. The meeting consisted of 4 sessions: conventional and organic forage and seed markets, breeding and variety progress for conventional and organic agriculture, genetic resources and diversity utilization, and genetic, physiological and molecular aspects of forage and turf breeding. Besides 7 invited lectures, 22 oral presentations as well as 70 posters were presented and discussed. The meeting was attended by 110 researchers and breeders from 25 countries.

The 27th meeting: 2007, August 19-23 was held at Copenhagen, Denmark and was organized by Thomas Lübberstedt and colleagues from the University of Aarhus and DLF. The topic was IMPROVEMENT OF FODDER CROPS AND AMENITY GRASSES. There were three sessions: "seed production", "applied genomics", and "forage quality and bioenergy". A total of 33 presentations were given with more than half in session "applied genomics". Besides oral presentations three workshops were held. 116 participants from 21 countries attended this meeting.

The 28th meeting: 2009, May 11-14 was held at La Rochelle, France and was organnized by Christian Huyghe and colleagues. The topic was SUSTAINABLE USE OF GENETIC DIVERSITY IN FORAGE AND TURF BREEDING. The presentations were split into five sessions. 135 persons from 25 countries attended the meeting.

The 29th meeting: 2011, September 4-8 was held at Dublin, Ireland and was organized by Susanne Barth and Dan Milbourne from Teagasc, the Irish Food and Agriculture Development Authority. The topic of the meeting was BREEDING STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE FORAGE AND TURF GRASS IMPROVEMENT. Oral presentations covered traditional breeding as well as new technologies. The short 3' presentations of selected posters were very useful. 123 persons from 21 countries participated.

The 30th meeting: 2013, May 12-16 was held at Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia, and organized by Dejan Sokolovic and colleagues from the Institute of Forage Crops, Krusevac. The topic of the meeting was QUANTITATIVE TRAITS BREEDING FOR MULTIFUNCTIONAL GRASSLANDS AND TURF. Almost 100 papers and posters were presented in seven sessions. 105 persons from 30 countries attended the meeting.

The 31th meeting: 2015, September 13-17 took place in Gent, Belgium, and was organized by Isabel Roldan-Ruiz and Joost Baert from ILVO (Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries Research, and Dirk Reheul from Ghent University. The topic was BREEDING IN A WORLD OF SCARCITY, and the meeting was split into four sessions: scarcity of i) natural resources, ii) breeders, iii) land, and iv) focus. The proceedings contain 44 of the presentations, and additionally seven reports from interactive sessions. 124 participants from 25 countries attended the meeting.

The 32th meeting: 2017, September 11-14, took place at Vilnius, Lithuania, and was organized by Gintaras Brazauskas and colleagues from the Lithuanian Research Centre of Agriculture and Forestry. The topic was BREEDING GRASSES AND PROTEIN CROPS IN THE ERA OF GENOMICS, and was split into four sessions. 47 presentations were included in the proceedings. A total of 142 participants from 24 countries attended the meeting.

The 33rd meeting: 2019, June 24-27, took place at Zurich, Switzerland , and was a joint symposium between EGF (European Grassland Federation), and the Eucarpia Section Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. Its topic was IMPROVING SOWN GRASSLAND THROUGH BREEDING AND MANAGEMENT; and was organized by Andreas Lüscher and Roland Kölliker, representing the two organizations, respectively. The seven sessions covered a wide range of themes, with more then 200 contributions.