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

New Swiss cultivars of perennial ryegrass: Cavia, Arvicola, Lacerta

Three new Swiss cultivars of perennial ryegrass have been inscribed recently into the list of recommended cultivars of forage plants: Cavia (diploid, early), Arvicola (tetraploid, very early) and Lacerta (tetraploid, early). They were mainly derived from the same genetic resources (Swiss ecotypes collected in 1972) as our very early cultivar Arion. As compared to Arion, resistance against foliar diseases of the new cultivars has been improved markedly. Their yield is also higher, particularly after the second winter. In addition, the tetraploid cultivars have a higher digestibility. Arvicola resists snow mould better than the other cultivars and persists well at higher altitudes (experiments at 1000 m a.s.l.). Because it develops rapidly in spring, Arvicola is best suited for an early cut for silage with a high forage quality.

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