10 new varieties added to the Recommended Grass and Clover Lists

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Eight new varieties of ryegrass and one red and one white clover have been added to the 2019/2020 Recommended Grass and Clover Lists (RGCL).

Only grasses and clovers that have undergone at least four years of independent testing are included in the lists. Varieties are rigorously tested for factors such as total and seasonal yield, feed quality, disease and persistence before making the RGCL.

Siwan Howatson, AHDB Dairy Scientist, 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 RGCL 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 the ones that best meet their needs.”

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

The 2019/2020 RGCL handbook and the full lists for merchants is now available to download from ahdb.org.uk and britishgrassland.com/rgcl.  The online interactive version for perennial ryegrasses has been updated and will be available at ahdb.org.uk/tools. Hard copies of the handbook will be available from the AHDB stand at the Royal Welsh Grassland event on 6 June 2019.

Summary of the new RGCL varieties

Name

Type

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Early perennial ryegrass (tetraploid)

Good early season growth under simulated grazing with good grazing D-value, combined with good yields under conservation management with excellent 1st cut D-value. Excellent resistance to drechslera, very good resistance to crown rust and limited data shows very good resistance to mildew. Please note, this variety was initially tested as an intermediate variety but is now ranked with the early group and has specific use for grazing. 

Kendal

Late perennial ryegrass (diploid)

Excellent spring growth under simulated grazing with excellent conservation yields and ME yield. Good ground cover in the second and third harvest years and good overall disease resistance. 

Dundrod

Late perennial ryegrass diploid)

Excellent late season growth under simulated grazing management, with excellent first and fourth cut conservation yields in the first harvest year. Excellent winter hardiness (with limited data), very good resistance to crown rust and good resistance to mildew (with limited data). Please note, this variety was initially tested as an intermediate variety but is now ranked with the late group. This variety has specific use for grazing. 

AstonKing

Late perennial ryegrass (diploid)

Excellent early season growth under simulated grazing management, with excellent first harvest year yield under conservation management with excellent ME yield and first cut yield. This variety has specific use for high early season growth and first year conservation yield. 

Gleneagle

Late perennial ryegrass (diploid)

Excellent early summer growth under simulated grazing management, with excellent conservation yield and ME yield in the first year of conservation management. Good ground cover in the 2nd and 3rd harvest years and good resistance to drechslera (on limited data). 

Weldone

Late perennial ryegrass (tetraploid)

Excellent summer yields under simulated grazing management, with very good conservation yields in year one, included excellent third cut yield. Very good resistance to both crown rust and mildew, with limited data showing excellent resistance to drechslera. 

Hopi

Late perennial ryegrass (tetraploid)

Excellent early summer growth under simulated grazing management, with very good overall grazing yield. Very good resistance to crown rust and mildew, limited data shows excellent resistance to drechslera.

Melprimo

Italian ryegrass (diploid)

Outstanding early spring growth for an Italian diploid variety, with good overall yields. Good ground cover in the first and second harvest years, with limited data showing very good winter hardiness. Excellent crown rust resistance and very good resistance to brown rust (limited data). 

Coolfin

White clover

Excellent clover yield at first defoliation in the second and third harvest years, with very good ground cover under both light and hard defoliation. 

Fearga

Red clover

Outstanding yields in the second and third harvest year, with excellent ground cover in the second harvest year and good ground cover in the first and third harvest years.