The researches on forage crops started with the foundation of the Institute in 1925. At the beginning, the efforts were focused on variety breeding. These studies were carried out with collected populations from the region. The alfalfa (Medicago sativa) variety Sazova registered at that time is still produced today. Studies on forage crops were ceased in mid 1970's and restarted in 1994. Nowadays, collection, characterization, variety improvement (breeding) and agronomy studies under different projects in legumes, grasses, other forage crops and forage shrubs are carried out in the unit. In addition to these projects, seed production of developed varieties, Variety Registration and Seed Certification Centre (VRSCC) experiments and consulting studies in Pasture Management Projects conducted by 7 Provincial Agricultural Directories ( Eskişehir, Kütahya, Afyon, Sakarya, Bilecik, Düzce and Bolu) are carried out in the department.
Below are some completed and continuing projects conducted by the department;
1.Winter Vetch Breeding Researches Project: The project started in 2004. Single Plant Selection Method was used in the breeding studies. As a result of the studies, Budak (hungarian vetch) variety was registered in 2008 and Balkan (narbon vetch) and Nedimbey (fodder beet) varieties were registered in 2011. The breeding studies with some hungarian vetch genotypes obtained from some domestic and foreign gene centers were completed in 2014. Yield experiments of improved lines were completed and registration process is continuing.
2.Collection and Determination of Some Characters of Some Forage Grass Species for Breeding Purposes from Natural Areas in Eskişehir: In the project, which were completed at the end of 2013, for the possibility of using them in breeding, collection and characterization of studies on some important forage grass species from natural areas of Eskişehir were conducted. The main species studied are crested wheat grass (Agropyron cristatum), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), crested hairgrass (Koeleria cristata), intermediate wheat grass (Agropyron intermedium).
3. Variety Development Studies in Forage Grasses: In the project started in 2015, it is aimed to develop new lines in crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) and cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) using the data and material obtained from the project "Collection and Determination of Some Characters of Some Forage Grass Species for Breeding Purposes from Natural Areas in Eskişehir" with mass selection method.
4. Breeding of Perrennial Forage Crops For Grazing Type (TUBITAK 1003): With this project, started in 2015, detection studies of suitable candidate cultivars and grazing type lines of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L., M. varia L.), sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.), crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.) and sheep fescue (Festuca ovina L.) for rangelands under the climatic and soil conditions of the Central Anatolia and Eastern Anatolia Region were carried out.
5. Possibilities of Using Bushes and Bushy Plants in Pastures: The completed project,which is one of the important studies of the unit, mainly aimed to find out promising bushes and bushy plants in animal feeding and make them widespread on problematic grasslands.
6. Evalution of Forage Production, Soil Rehabilitation and Erosion Control Capability of Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens Pursh Nutt.) In Different Locations: In the research, which was carried out between 2011-2014, performance of four wing salt bush (Atriplex canescens Purh. Nutt.) in terms of forage value, soil rehabilitation and erosion control was evaluated at different locations (Konya/Karapınar, Konya/Merkez and Eskişehir/Hamidiye) and planting spaces (3m ve 2m).