17 May 2002

GRASS VARIETIES

SHOW PROGRESS

One of the many attractions of the once-every-three-years

Grassland event is that it gives farmers a chance to

see new grass and fodder crop varieties. A visit to the

IGER stand this year should provide much of interest

Above: Perennial ryegrass, AberDart, is one of the new high-sugar varieties bred by the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research to contain particularly high levels of water soluble carbohydrate. A demonstration plot of the worlds first commercially available high-sugar grass mixture, Aber HSG 1, can be viewed on the joint IGER, Germinal Holdings and DEFRA stand at Grassland 2002.

Above: IGERs hybrid ryegrass variety, AberLinnet, was named after its breeder, Llinos Jones (pictured). Hybrids were developed at the Institute to harness the high yields and earliness of Italians, with the good mid-to-late season quality and persistency of perennials.

Plots of Perennial and Hybrid ryegrass sown by IGER in a long-term trial consistently showed good ground cover and produced high yields for up to six years, whereas plots of Italian ryegrass sown at the same time were over-run by weeds after two seasons.

The pictures show ground cover of (above left and above right) perennial and Italian ryegrass plots after six years.

Demonstration plots, comparing the ground cover of different species of ryegrass can be seen at Grassland 2002.