Charollais ewe lambs© Tim Scrivener

Twelve varieties of grass and clover have been added to the 2018-19 Recommended Grass and Clover Lists (RGCL), which were released at Grassland UK last week.

The 12 varieties added are made up of 11 different ryegrass species and one white clover variety.

The recommended lists, put together using data from expert trials, contain information on the performance characteristics of grass and clover varieties, so that growers can select the right grass for their system.

The updated RCGL were available for growers to pick up at the triennial event, held in Shepton Mallet on Thursday (10 May).

See also: Optimise second cut with aftermath nutrition

Rigorous testing of recommended varieties

Liz Genever, AHDB senior scientist, says the lists are an invaluable tool, helping farmers make informed decisions with their seed merchants about the varieties that will help them get the most out of their grassland.

“Only grasses and clovers that have undergone at least four years of independent testing are included in the lists,” Dr Genever explains.

“Varieties are rigorously tested for factors such as total and seasonal yield, feed quality, disease and persistence.”

Newly recommended ryegrass varieties

Variety

Type

Heading date

Total annual yield (stimulated grazing management)

(100 is the average for varieties on RGCL at 10.25t DM/ha)

D-value (stimulated grazing management)

Galgorm*

Intermediate perennial ryegrass (diploid)

22 May

108

78.3

Summary

  • Excellent total annual yield under simulated grazing, with a good mid-season D value.
  • Excellent early, spring and late summer seasonal growth.
  • Excellent total annual yields under conservation management, with excellent second-cut D-value and third- and fourth-cut yields in the first harvest year.
  • Very good resistance to crown rust, with limited data showing good resistance to mildew.

AstonVision

Intermediate perennial ryegrass (diploid)

26 May

103

78.1

Summary

  • Excellent mid-season D-value under simulated grazing, with excellent early, spring and autumn growth.
  • Excellent second conservation cut D-value and fourth-cut yield in the first harvest year.
  • Good ground cover under both management regimes.
  • Excellent resistance to crown rust, with limited data showing good resistance to drechslera.

Callan

Late perennial ryegrass (diploid)

1 June

103

76.5

Summary

  • Excellent total annual yields under simulated grazing, with excellent early and spring growth.
  • Excellent total annual yields under conservation management, with excellent first-, third- and fourth-cut yields in the first conservation year.
  • Limited data shows both excellent winter hardiness and very good resistance to mildew.

Oakpark

Late perennial ryegrass (diploid)

3 June

102

76.9

Summary

  • Excellent total annual yield under simulated grazing, with excellent seasonal growth from early summer through to autumn.
  • Excellent total annual yields under conservation management, with an excellent first-cut yield in the first harvest year.
  • Limited data shows good resistance to mildew.

AberBann

Late perennial ryegrass (diploid)

6 June

108

78.1

Summary

  • Excellent total annual yield and mid-season D-value under simulated grazing management.
  • Excellent seasonal growth from spring through to autumn, with outstanding early summer growth.
  • Excellent total annual yields under conservation management, with good first- and second-cut yields and excellent third- and fourth-cut yields in the first harvest year.

Bowie

Late perennial ryegrass (diploid)

17 June

102

76.2

Summary

  • Excellent total annual yield under simulated grazing, with excellent growth from early summer through to autumn.
  • Good total annual yields under conservation management, with excellent first-cut D-value in the first harvest year and excellent second-, third- and fourth-cut yields.
  • Limited data shows very good resistance to mildew.

Nashota

Late perennial ryegrass (teraploid)

4 June

105

78.3

Summary

  • Excellent total annual yield under simulated grazing, with excellent growth for early grazing as well as in spring and early summer.
  • Excellent total annual yields under conservation management, with excellent first- and fourth-cut yields, and good second- and third-cut yields.
  • Excellent ground cover under grazing management, with good ground cover under conservation management and excellent resistance to crown rust.

Thegn

Late perennial ryegrass (teraploid)

5 June

104

77.6

Summary

  • Excellent first conservation cut D-value in the first harvest year, with excellent third- and fourth-cut yields.
  • Excellent total annual yield under simulated grazing, with excellent late summer growth.
  • Good ground cover under both conservation and simulated grazing management.
  • Limited data shows good winter hardiness.
  • Good resistance to crown rust, with limited data showing good resistance to mildew.

Barimax*

Italian ryegrass (tetraploid)

20 May

102

66.4

Summary

  • Excellent total annual yields in the first harvest year, with good first conservation cut D-value, excellent second conservation cut yield and excellent growth under the monthly cuts regime.
  • Good second harvest year yields.
  • Very good resistance to crown rust.

Bannfoot*

Hybrid ryegrass (tetraploid)

19 May

101

73.0

Summary

  • Good total annual yields in the second harvest year and excellent total annual yields in the third harvest year.
  • Good yields in the year of sowing.
  • Excellent first-cut yield and second-cut D-value in the first conservation year.
  • Excellent ground cover under simulated grazing management, with limited data showing very good winter hardiness.
  • Very good resistance to ryegrass mosaic virus, mildew and crown rust.

Perseus

Hybrid ryegrass (festulolium type)

23 May

101

69.5

Summary

  • Good total annual yields in the second and third harvest years, with good yields in the year of sowing.
  • Good first conservation cut yield in the first harvest year.
  • Excellent crown rust resistance, very good resistance to ryegrass mosaic virus and good resistance to mildew.
* name not confirmed

Newly recommended clover  variety

Variety Type Leaf area (mm2) Total yield of clover – third harvest year (100 equals average at 4.17t DM/ha) Total yield of grass and clover (11 equals average at 11.64t DM/ha)
AberSwan White clover 847 121

104

 

Summary

  • Very good yields in the second and third harvest years, with good ground cover under both light and hard autumn defoliation and hard spring defoliation.