7 July 1995

Five new ryegrasses on list

FIVE new ryegrasses, three perennial and two Italian, have just been added to the National Institute of Agricultural Botany recommended list.

No new clovers are on the 1995/96 list but the large-leaved white clover Reisling, still being assessed,could make it next year.

Four other clover varieties trialled have not been approved, while 11 new varieties of perennial ryegrass and three of Italian ryegrass have also been given the thumbs down by NIAB.

The popular tetraploid perennial ryegrass Merlinda has been transferred to the Special category due to its susceptibility to crown rust, and the perennial ryegrasses Colmar and Carrick removed.

Dr Jim McVittie, head of grass trials at NIABsays that next year there will be no new perennial ryegrasses added to the list due to recent cost-cutting reductions.

The three new perennials coming on to the list are the Northern Ireland-bred intermediate variety Spelga, the Welsh-bred intermediate variety Abersilo and the late Dutch-bred variety Choice.

Spelga is described by Dr McVittie as high yielding under conservation management with very good early spring growth but producing low yields in the first conservation cut at 67D. Abersilo is described as giving high annual yields under both management systems, produces good early spring growth and has good resistance to crown rot.

Choice had high yields under simulated grazing management in NIAB trials and average yields in the conservation management improving into the second year.

The two new Italians are diploid variety Total and tetraploid variety Sultan.

, both bred in Holland.

Total is said to have high annual yields and good ground cover for a diploid variety. Sultan has also been found to be high yielding, particularly in the first harvest year.