Three of four new grass varieties from Barenbrug UK received top scores in their respective categories on the Recommended Lists, including a perennial ryegrass that boasts the highest silage ME yield of any late diploid variety.
Ballyvoy, bred in Northern Ireland by AFBI, has demonstrated outstanding performance in both cutting and grazing regimes and offers an ME yield of 134,000MJ/ha and a winter hardiness score of 7.3.
“Ballyvoy is the latest example of success from the 30-year partnership between AFBI and Barenbrug UK,” said Mhairi Dawson, research and development manager for Barenbrug UK. “Ballyvoy outperformed all other late diploid varieties on the England and Wales lists for both annual yield and quality under silage management. Another key attribute is undoubtedly its high spring growth, comparable with earlier heading varieties despite its own heading date of June 2.”
On average the variety gave a cutting yield of 15.79t DM/ha, while the grazing yield across UK trials was 9.85t DM/ha.
Topping the list for silage yields was Dundrod, another late diploid variety from AFBI. Specifically bred for silage production, it outcompeted all other varieties in the category for first-cut yields by delivering 112% of the mean.
“AFBI has spent nearly 15 years perfecting Dundrod,” noted Ms Dawson, “and it’s a great example of their determination to produce a British-bred, high-performance grass to fulfil a specific on-farm role. Its added attractions include a high-scoring 6.4 for crown-rust resistance, great autumn ground cover and good winter hardiness.”
Barenbrug also saw two varieties from its Dutch breeding programme make the list. Barimax is the first of the company’s Italian ryegrasses to make the Scottish Recommended Lists and is a tetraploid variety, scoring excellent on winter hardiness, spring growth and crown rust resistance.
“Barimax provides growers with excellent quality without compromising on yield, offering a very pleasing 18.41t DM/ha first-year average across all sites,” said Ms Dawson.
The company also saw Baronaise make the Recommended Lists, said to be the highest quality timothy available with an ME yield of 123,760MJ/ha.
“Baronaise offers growers a very flexible option, performing well under both cutting and grazing regimes,” said Ms Dawson. “While its top-ranking quality score is its standout feature, it’s no slouch on other attributes – offering high yields in early spring as well as autumn, excellent ground cover and good winter hardiness. It’s also one of the truly international varieties: as well as making it onto the lists for England & Wales, and Scotland, it’s also officially listed in the Netherlands, Denmark and France.”