Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

New cultivars of hybrid ryegrass: Antilope, Dorcas and Redunca

Three new Swiss cultivars of hybrid ryegrass (Lolium x boucheanum) have been released recently: Antilope, Dorcas and Redunca. These tetraploid cultivars originate either from crosses between Italian and perennial ryegrass at the diploid level, followed by a colchicine treatment, or from crosses between tetraploid parents. All three cultivars consistently outyield Gazella, the previously most used cultivar of hybrid ryegrass in Switzerland, particularly at low yield levels and in the third year of stand. Significant progress has also been achieved in resistance to Drechsiera spp.. When compared to Italian ryegrass cv. Ellire, the new hybrid ryegrasses resist snow mould diseases better and have a higher digestibility in summer. Redunca differs from the other cultivars in being more close to an Italian ryegrass in the number of reproductive tillers in summer. It is as productive and nearly as competitive as Italian ryegrass while maintaining most of the advantages of the more typical hybrid ryegrasses.

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