Eight leading Scottish agricultural distributors had the opportunity
to see and hear about the latest forage grass breeding developments
on a recent visit to the AFBI breeding station at Loughgall in
David Johnston explains to the group of Scottish agricultural
distributors the work involved at the AFBI breeding station
at Loughgall in Northern Ireland.
The intricacies of breeding a new variety and the selection
processes involved were explained by AFBI plant breeder
David Johnston and David Long and Billy Nimmo from Barenbrug.
Speaking about the visit Barenbrug’s Scottish manager
Billy Nimmo said: “We appreciated the opportunity
to show these merchants the programme in Northern Ireland
which is providing UK livestock producers with top-quality
“It gave them the opportunity to see how new material
is developed and identified and the processes involved
before we can bring new varieties to market that will help
livestock farmers produce top quality home grown forage.
“The programme with AFBI has already been successful
in bringing many new and significant varieties to the marketplace,
including Foyle, a completely new and unique type of Hybrid
ryegrass; and Portrush, a late-heading perennial ryegrass.
The latest varieties to join this line-up, available in
Barenbrug XL mixtures for the first time in 2008, are two
top performing perennial ryegrasses Malone and Tyrella.”
Malone is an intermediate tetraploid variety with exceptionally
high silage production, high resistance to leaf-spot disease
and excellent grazing yields. While Tyrella is a late heading
variety producing excellent total yields when cut or grazed.
Its spring production is exceptional for a late heading
variety, which means it is ideal for spring grazing. Both
varieties are recommended by the SAC, NIAB and AFBI.
David Johnston highlighted the importance of the Northern
Ireland programme and how it has strong links to the trials
at the SAC. “We have a special arrangement with SAC
to ensure that a wide range of new perennial ryegrasses,
Timothys and hybrid ryegrasses, bred by AFBI and Barenbrug
programmes on the Continent, is tested on their Aberdeen
site before marketing commences. This new move will ensure
that Scottish grassland farmers have access to varieties
which are particularly well adapted to their own conditions.”
The group of Scottish merchants included representatives
from Agrovista, Dalgety,
D Simpson Agriculture, R McCoull Agriculture, UAP/Grainfarmers
and W & A Geddes.
of Lothian & Borders Arable Monitor Farm
for Corn Worrying for Horn
Catana OSR Joins HGCA Recommended List