Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Zurich-Reckenholz

Oryx and Rangifer: two new cultivars of Italian ryegrass

Our new cultivars Oryx and Rangifer increase the range of diploid Italian ryegrass cultivars suitable for cultivation in Switzerland. These cultivars were bred using new germplasm which is not represented in our older cultivars. As compared to the well-known Swiss cultivar Axis, annual dry matter yield of the new cultivars was increased by 4 to 6 %. They are thus superior to even the best tetraploid cultivars. Moreover, Oryx is quite resistant to snow mould (Microdochium nivale), thus reaches harvest maturity in spring more rapidly. In summer, forage digestibility is increased compared to other diploid cultivars due to Oryx’s tendency to form fewer reproductive tillers. The variety Rangifer is distinguished by it’s high resistance against bacterial wilt (Xanthomonas campestris pv. graminis). This resistance secures high yields in the warm summer months. Additionally, Rangifer is little affected by fungal leaf diseases.

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