Seed World

Breeding Success in Turf and Forages

Drought tolerance, water use efficiency, nitrogen efficiency and phosphorous availability are just a couple of the pieces that Wayne Hanna says turf and forage breeders should be focused on. Hanna, a University of Georgia plant breeder, sits down with Shawn Brook, Seed World publisher, to share the trends and keys for success.
Hanna’s career could be considered a success based on numbers alone: 16 patents have been issued with three pending patent applications; 17 trademarks registered for plant cultivar names worldwide; three issued foreign patents; six Plant Variety Protection certificates; and more than 230 intellectual property agreements related to his cultivars. Hanna’s patented plants have generated more than $7 million in gross license revenue plus another $3 million from plants protected by PVP certificates, according to the University of Georgia.
Most recently, his program released TifTuf Bermuda grass, which uses 38 percent less water on sports fields. “That’s a beginning,” Hanna says, “but we need to do better.”
When asked about his keys to success, Hanna says “efficiency.”
“We are successful because we have a good plan,” he says. “We have a plan, and we work the plan. We work very efficiently.”
Watch to see how Hanna and his team get an extra 16 business days out of a calendar year.