Breeding for heat and drought tolerance:
Recurrent phenotypic selection is being used to improve heat and drought tolerance in tall fescue. Plots are maintained under a rain-out shelter at the Sandhills Research Station (Jackson Springs, NC) where sandy soils allow for severe drought conditions. Plots are subjected to drought during the hottest summer months. Surviving plants are then selected and allowed to cross-pollinate to generate new populations for selection. Several cycles of recurrent selection are conducted. After this time, populations are evaluated in replicated trials.