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Nine new varieties have been added to the latest recommended grass and clover lists published by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. New grass varieties added to latest recommended list

• Grass and clover traits assessed

• Four years of rigorous, independent tests

• Selecting varieties is made easier

Nine new varieties have been added to the latest recommended grass and clover lists published by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

Newly recommended varieties for 2021/2022 comprise one white clover, one intermediate Festulolium (Hybrid) and seven new ryegrass varieties. All were subjected to at least four years of independent testing.

Varieties were rigorously assessed for their total and seasonal yield, feed quality, disease and persistence. The list is funded by plant breeders through the AHDB, the British Society of Plant Breeders, British Grassland society and Hybu Cig Cymru. 

Invaluable resource

AHDB grass and forage senior scientist Siwan Howatson said: “The lists are an invaluable resource for grassland farmers, enabling them to select varieties that will perform well in a particular system.

“When thinking about reseeding, the list should be used to check that the varieties being selected are on the lists and are the best available, helping farmers make informed decisions alongside their seed merchants about varieties that best meet their needs.” 

In addition to providing information on each variety, the lists includes a range of technical information for farmers on how they can manage their reseed and maximise the productivity of their grassland.

The 2021/2022 lists are available to download from the AHDB website at www.ahdb.org.uk. An online interactive list for perennial ryegrass is available. Printed copies will be included with this month’s Ruminant News.

The new varieties

AberSirius White Clover

Good yields in the second and third harvest years, with very good grass + clover yields for its leaf size and high early and late cut yields. Excellent autumn ground cover in the first harvest year under light defoliation.

AberRoot Intermediate Festulolium (Tet)

Excellent D-value under simulated grazing management with high spring growth and good ME yield. Good yields under conservation management with high first and second cut D-values. Limited data shows good resistance to mildew and drechslera.

Wetherby Late perennial ryegrass

Excellent grazing yield, D-value and ME yield under simulated grazing, excellent yields under conservation management, with excellent ground cover in the third harvest year. Excellent winter hardiness. Good resistance to crown rust.

Zorgue Late perennial ryegrass

Good D-value under simulated grazing for a late diploid, with excellent early summer growth. Under conservation management, first and second D-values are excellent with good first and fourth cut yields. Excellent ground cover under both management regimes. Good resistance to crown rust.

Delika Late perennial ryegrass

Excellent yield under simulated grazing with excellent early summer growth. Good grazing D-value and ME yield for a late diploid. Excellent third cut yield in the first harvest year under conservation management and excellent resistance to crown rust.

Ritchie Intermediate perennial ryegrass (Tet)

Excellent grazing yield and ground cover with excellent late-summer and autumn growth under simulated grazing management. Good yields and excellent ground cover under conservation management with excellent second and fourth cut yields and excellent winter hardiness.

Pinaco Italian ryegrass

Good yields in both harvest years with excellent second conservation cut yield in the first harvest year and good yields under the monthly cutting regime. Good ground cover in both harvest years. Limited data shows good resistance to mildew.

AberSheen Hybrid ryegrass (Tet)

Excellent yields in all three harvest years and under monthly cutting with excellent second conservation cut yield in the first harvest year. Good ME yield in the first harvest yield and excellent resistance to mildew. Specifically recommended for conservation in areas with low risk of crown rust.

RGT Cordial Hybrid ryegrass (Tet)

Excellent yields in the first and second harvest years and under the monthly cutting regime with excellent ground cover in the second harvest year. Good first and second cut D-values and third harvest year ground cover. Good resistance to crown rust.

 

For more on this month’s livestock news, check out our article “Australia’s free trade deal is ‘bad for beef’“.