Top scores as four Barenbrug varieties make the Recommended Lists

Written by John Swire from Farm Business

Three of four new grass varieties from Barenbrug UK have 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 under both cutting and grazing regimes, but its truly distinguishing characteristic is a silage ME yield of 134,400MJ/ha – alongside an excellent winter hardiness score of 7.3.

“Ballyvoy is the latest example of success from the 30-year partnership between AFBI and Barenbrug UK,” says 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,” Mhairi continues. “Another key attribute is undoubtedly its high spring growth, comparable with earlier heading varieties despite its own heading date of June 2.”

On average, Ballyvoy gave a cutting yield of 15.79t DM/ha, while the grazing yield across all UK trials was 9.85t DM/ha.

Top for silage​

Also topping the lists – this time for silage yield – is Dundrod, another late diploid variety from the AFBI programme. Specifically bred for silage production, Dundrod outcompeted all other late diploid varieties for first-cut yields by delivering 112% of the mean.

“AFBI has spent nearly 15 years perfecting Dundrod,” notes Mhairi, “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.”

Two further varieties to make it on to the lists both originate from Barenbrug’s Dutch breeding programme. Barimax – the first of Barenbrug’s Italian ryegrasses to reach the Scottish Recommended Lists – 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,” enthuses Mhairi.

Highest quality Timothy​

Rounding off Barenbrug’s quartet is Baronaise, the highest quality timothy available on the Recommended Lists with a ME yield of 123,760MJ/ha.

“Baronaise offers growers a very flexible option, performing well under both cutting and grazing regimes,” says Mhairi. “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.”

All four new varieties will be available from Barenbrug distributors in spring 2022.

“More details on all four varieties, plus the existing range of our grass mixtures for a variety of purposes, are within Barenbrug’s 2022 seed brochures,” adds Mhairi, “with specific versions available for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

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