NI-bred grasses added to SAC list

NI-bred grasses added to SAC list

Friday, March 26, 2010

Two new perennial ryegrasses - Moyola, an early-heading diploid variety, and Drumbo, a late-heading diploid - have been added to the new Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) Recommended List, says breeding company Barenbrug.

Moyola was bred in Northern Ireland by crossing a variety from the Royal Barenbrug Group's New Zealand breeding programme with Moy, the well-established, early-heading variety from Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

Moyola's parentage is clearly demonstrated by its exceptional yield - it is one of the highest yielding varieties for both grazing and conservation, says Barenbrug's agricultural product manager, David Long.

"New Zealand ryegrasses have a different growth rhythm to European varieties, growing all year, including through the winter. By crossing these two parent varieties we have developed a new variety that is winter-hardy enough to have survived four consecutive winters in Aberdeenshire in the SAC trials, yet has the highest spring and autumn growth of any recommended variety. Moyola's growth habit is ideal for farmers looking to extend their grazing season for both sheep and dairy cows."

Drumbo, meanwhile, combines excellent yield with exceptional quality, he says. Also bred in Northern Ireland, it is a cross between the popular and widely used variety Gilford and a very late-heading Dutch variety called Veritas.

"Drumbo makes a tremendous contribution to grazing mixtures, combining excellent growth throughout the grazing season, particularly in the second half of the year, with very high digestibility and palatability," says David.

"The high digestibility rating is achieved through the very low level of re-heading in the variety - once Drumbo has produced seed heads, the re-growth is predominantly highly digestible leaf. This has the advantage of minimising the need for topping the sward, making for easy management. Drumbo can also be cut for silage, where it's very high digestibility will increase the quality of the forage."

For more information on Barenbrug varieties, call 01359 272000, email info@baruk.co.uk or visit www.barenbrug.co.uk  or visit the Barenbrug stand at the Reseeding Day on April 22nd at Harper  Adams, Newport, Shropshire - for details see www.britishgrassland.com/event/reseeding-day 

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