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.
Spring J.-L-, Zufferey V., Verdenal T., Reynard J.-S., Lorenzini F., Bourdin G., Blouin A., Carlen C., Jermini M., Morisoli R., Ferretti M.
Five Merlot clones bred in Switzerland are currently being distributed by the certification sector. A multiyear trial conducted by Agroscope in Gudo (Canton of Ticino) has made it possible to compare them with French and Italian reference clones and to highlight their very good performances.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.