2015-05-06   facebooktwitterrss

Three New Barenbrug / AFBI Grass Varieties Join Recommended List

Three new forage grass varieties will appear on the England and Wales Recommended Grass and Clover List this year, thanks to a special breeding programme managed jointly by grass seed experts at the Agri-Food and Bio-Sciences Institute (AFBI) and Barenbrug UK.

Offering UK livestock farmers even more options when it comes to improving the productivity of their fields, the three new grasses have all been rigorously tested for yield, persistency, quality and disease resistance. They are:

  • Glenarm: A late diploid perennial ryegrass with the highest early spring grazing yield of any variety of its kind as well as a particularly high first conservation cut and good crown rust resistance.

  • Caledon: An intermediate tetraploid perennial ryegrass with a very high total grazing and conservation yield that has a 1st cut silage yield of 115%.

  • Ramore – an intermediate tetraploid perennial ryegrass that offers consistent first and third year conservation yield and is an excellent choice for silage production.

Grass Seed Trials

Grass Seed Trials

Developed at AFBI in Loughgall, Armagh, the new varieties were tested locally at Barenbrug funded research trials centre at Cropvale in Worcestershire, SAC near Aberdeen and Loughgall in Northern Ireland. Alongside these trials, extensive disease screening trials have also taken place at Barenbrug research sites in France and the Netherlands.

Barenbrug and AFBI forged their commercial forage breeding partnership back in 1991. Over more than two decades the organisations have created a portfolio of almost 30 forage grass varieties, which have made a major contribution to the productivity and profitability of farms throughout the UK and Ireland.

James Ingles, head of agriculture at Barenbrug UK, said: “Grass remains under exploited on the majority of farms – despite a growing awareness that worn swards need to be managed carefully. The Recommended Lists make it easier for farmers to pick grass seeds that will help deliver higher yields and offer better nutritional quality. We are delighted to have worked with the team at AFBI to increase options for farmers that want to use tried and tested grass seeds.”

David Johnston, Forage Grass Breeder with AFBI says that the development of these new varieties, Glenarm, Caledon and Ramore, started almost 15 years ago and represents a major financial investment by both AFBI and Barenbrug. He says that “all three varieties set new, high standards for forage production and will be a great addition to the existing portfolio of grasses available from Barenbrug for use on UK farms”.


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