Advertiser content

Ryegrass variety promises ‘above standard’ performance for farmers

Provided by

Barenbrug UK specialises in grass breeding and production for agriculture, sport and leisure. The Barenbrug name has been synonymous with the introduction of innovative grass solutions and is raising the standard in the research and breeding of forage and amenity grasses in the UK.

UK grass and forage breeder Barenbrug has announced that perennial ryegrass variety Killylea has been approved for the 2023-24 Recommended Grass and Clover List, with availability from 2024.

A late tetraploid variety, Killylea has been specially bred to suit the requirements and expectations of growers in Scotland and Northern Ireland, making it a potent substitute for ‘standard’ UK-wide varieties in any seed mixture, notes Janet Montgomery, the company’s agriculture product manager.

“What we have in Killylea is another example of Barenburg’s UK-focused grass-breeding strategy,” she says, “where we’re breeding UK varieties for a UK fit on UK farms.

“First advanced for trialling in 2011, Killylea performs above the reference variety.

“While it can be quite a decision to switch from an established and familiar variety, with Killylea there’s no compromise of the high standards growers and merchants expect from a high-performing late tetraploid.”

Long grass in field

© Barenbrug UK

Janet points to Killylea’s visible resilience in mixtures with other grass varieties.

“We see Killylea – with its traits specially selected for UK conditions and grower expectations – as having the potential to replace other UK-wide varieties in mixtures, ultimately providing growers with more robust and better-performing grass.”

New grass varieties usually spend between 15 and 17 years in development, after the initial cross.

Killylea is no exception: its stand-out traits were first recognised in 2006.

It’s one of nearly 50 grass varieties that have made it to the UK’s Recommended Lists during the 32-year breeding partnership between Barenbrug and the AgriFood and Biosciences Breeding Institute in Northern Ireland.

Two further varieties – Tollymore, an intermediate tetraploid, and early tetraploid Barwave – also appear on the new Recommended List.

“Both are UK-wide varieties,” Janet explains, “but it’s Tollymore we’re most excited about. Growers who’ve trialled it described it as ‘a grass that blows your socks off’.”

Killylea and Tollymore will be available in the Bar Forage mixture range from Spring 2024.

Grass, forage & herbs

Discover our range of grass, forage and beneficial crops for agriculture.