Livestock News

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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New grasses make the cut

The Barenbrug agricultural team.

Grass varieties bred by Agri-Food and Bio-Sciences Institute (AFBI) in cooperation with Barenbrug feature highly throughout the 2016/17 Recommended Grass List for Scotland. This year, five Barenbrug marketed ryegrasses and one clover variety have achieved acclaimed 1st Choice status. In addition, two brand new ryegrass varieties available from Barenbrug secure a listing for the very first time as Provisional 1st Choice options.

The Scottish Recommended List of Grasses is an independent study of the grass seed varieties available to Scottish farmers. Published by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the list ranks grasses by performance – making it easier for farmers to pick varieties that are proven to thrive in Scottish conditions, and deliver a quick return on investment.

In compiling the 2016/17 Recommended List for Scotland, SRUC retested ten intermediate tetraploid ryegrass varieties that had been given 1st Choice status in previous years. Of the ten ryegrasses retested, only three remained categorised as 1st Choice: Malone, Seagoe and Dunluce – all varieties available via Barenbrug.

In addition, two other Barenbrug marketed ryegrasses – Glenariff and Clanrye – plus Katy, a clover, were confirmed as 1st Choice having spent a couple of years listed as Provisional 1st Choice. 

Furthermore, Gosford and Carland – two new intermediate perennial ryegrass varieties available from Barenbrug – were added to the Scottish list for the first time, going straight in as Provisional 1st Choice options.

In total, 82 perennial ryegrasses appear on the Scottish list, almost a quarter of which are bred by AFBI in cooperation with Barenbrug through a specialist breeding partnership. Other ryegrass varieties on the list and available from Barenbrug include Kilrea and Moyola (early); Fintona, Ramore, Spelga, Moira, Caledon and Copeland (Intermediate); and Tyrella, Drumbo, Navan and Dunloy (late). Alongside Katy, three other white clover varieties from Barenbrug also appear including Crusader – a medium leaf white clover, and the only clover variety to ever win the prestigious NIAB Variety Cup.

Commenting, Mhairi Dawson, Research & Development Manager for Forage at Barenbrug UK, said: “Naturally we are delighted that so many of our varieties are going to be included on the Scottish Recommended Grass List for 2016/17 and importantly, have achieved 1st Choice status. This result is testimony to the quality, innovation and continual improvement of our breeding programmes, which create varieties with genetics that stand the test of time.”

“Buying grasses and clovers that are bred by specialists like us, and included on the Recommended List, gives farmers peace of mind that they will be able to maximise the productivity of their grassland and get a good return on investment. In the current market, that’s more important than ever.”

Grass varieties that appear on SRUC’s Recommended List are subject to rigorous checks and are evaluated under both conservation management and simulated grazing at SRUC sites in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Ayrshire. Varieties are also scored for winter hardiness, ground cover and disease resistance before being approved as fit to thrive in Scottish conditions.


  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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