Plant breeders at the Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) Aberystwyth University have again produced exceptional new varieties in the latest Recommended Grass and Clover lists revealed at Royal Welsh Grassland.
The highly successful breeding programme was the main feature of the Royal Welsh Grassland demonstration plots presented by Germinal, who market the varieties worldwide, and IBERS Aberystwyth University.
AberBann is a late heading diploid perennial ryegrass and the latest Aber High Sugar Grass on the RGCL, combining a high grazing yield with outstanding quality (Grazing D-value of 78.1). No other perennial ryegrass on the latest RGCL is higher than AberBann’s 109% for ME Yield/ha, and this superior energy yield ranks it 11% higher than the average of all other late diploids on the current list. In official trials, AberBann shows consistently high dry matter yields throughout, with a particularly strong main season performance with 113% of controls for early summer grazing and 107% of controls for late summer grazing.
AberSwan is the only new white clover on the 2018/19 RGCL. A medium leaf-size variety, AberSwan has an exceptional total clover yield at 110% of the mean of all varieties on the list and shows its persistency with this rising to 121% of the mean by the third harvest year.
Both new varieties will be marketed exclusively worldwide by Germinal and will feature in Germinal GB’s Aber HSG grass mixtures in the near future.
“AberBann adds to our comprehensive Aber High Sugar Grass range of top-ranking ryegrasses on the Recommended Grass and Clover Lists,” says Ben Wixey, National Agricultural Sales Manager for Germinal GB. “The combination of high dry matter yields and exceptional quality means significantly more energy per hectare for producing milk or meat. In addition, the variety excels in all the important agronomic traits (ground cover, persistency, disease resistance) that ensure the leys perform in the field. This late diploid follows the two outstanding perennial ryegrass varieties new onto the preceding RGCL, AberLee (late diploid) and AberSpey (intermediate tetraploid) and underlines the continued progress being made by the ryegrass breeders at IBERS.
“AberSwan is the latest product of a legume breeding programme at IBERS that includes performance under animal grazing as part of its white clover selection protocol. This is a medium-leaf variety that has demonstrated outstanding persistency when cut and grazed, out-yielding all other white clovers in the third harvest year. It is a strong addition to the range of Aber white clovers and will feature in both cutting and grazing mixtures in the future.”
The first AberBann seed is expected to be commercially available in small quantities from the 2018 UK harvest whilst AberSwan white clover is expected to be in production following the 2019 harvest in New Zealand.