Published on 05/29/03

UGA suspends canola breeding research program

The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences announced today it will suspend all canola breeding programs. The college has made several programmatic changes this spring to address shifting priorities and funding issues.

"Our canola breeding program will be suspended, carefully preserving all documentation, until canola becomes a more economically viable crop for the state," said CAES dean Gale Buchanan.

The latest change was precipitated by the retirement of one of the college's preeminent turf researchers, Ronny Duncan.

Duncan, known around the world for his groundbreaking work with Seashore Paspalum and Fine Leaf Fescue, will retire July 1.

"To keep our turfgrass research moving forward, we will shift researchers from less viable crops like canola to turf, one of the state's fastest growing crops," Buchanan said.

Earlier this year, the college announced closure or redirection of six of its research and extension programs in Georgia.

"We are continuing to look closely at our research, extension and academic programs," Buchanan said, "to identify areas where we can make changes to benefit our clients and students, and to make the most efficient use of the funds available to the college, the Agricultural Experiment Stations and the Cooperative Extension Service."

Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.