"CLOVER grazing trials before recommendation would not be possible given our current financial constraints," said National Institute of Botany (NIAB) director of agricultural services Jan Ingram.
Being able to graze every clover variety to the same level would mean grazing unnecessarily hard, so making the regime unrealistic, he said, hence the simulated grazing technique.
"Grazing trials on commercial farms mirror the results seen from simulated grazing by cutting once every 10 days," he says. "Claims made by breeders for better performance under grazing conditions have not been borne out in NIAB grazing trials."
"Breeders expectations of a variety are nearly always better than it turns out when trialled further afield and this can lead to disappointment," said Mr Ingram. "But we will work with breeders to improve the trialling system."