Agroscope, Institute for Sustainability Sciences ISS, Switzerland

Testing Italian ryegrass: the acid test for 37 varieties

In 2012 to 2014, Agroscope tested 18 diploid and 19 tetraploid varieties of Italian ryegrass at five sites in terms of their suitability for cultivation; four of the diploid and eight of the tetraploid varieties had already been recommended, and were retested. Yield, vigour, juvenile development, competitive ability, persistence, winter-hardiness, resistance to leaf diseases and bacterial wilt, and digestibility were assessed. In the diploid group, the new cultivars «Rabiosa» and «LI 0615» met the agronomic requirements for recommendation, excelling chiefly owing to their high yields. On the basis of the results, the hitherto-recommended variety «Rangifer» is no longer being recommended, and is being deleted from the List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants. In the tetraploid group, «LI 0735» impressed with its solid scores in all traits, and clearly fulfilled the agronomic requirements. The previously listed varieties «Ellire», «Zebu», «Alces» and «Gemini» no longer meet the requirements for recommendation, and are being deleted. In order to be recommended, the new cultivars «LI 0615» and «LI 0735» must pass the test for distinctiveness, uniformity and stability of traits in addition to the agronomic test.

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