Agroscope, Institute for Sustainability Sciences ISS, Switzerland

Tall fescue: Previous varieties uncontested, new ones don't make the grade

From 2012 to 2014, Agroscope conducted comparative trials on 17 varieties of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreber) and two varieties of xFestulolium krasanii at seven experimental sites. All varieties were grown in pure stands and in mixture with clover. The parameters assessed were dry matter yield, juvenile development, regrowth speed, general impression, competitive ability, persistence, digestibility of organic matter and resistance to leaf diseases and to winter conditions. For each variety, an index-value based on measurements and observations of yield was calculated, allowing an accurate comparison of the varieties. According to the results, none of the new varieties reached the index-value required for recommendation, whereas all of the previously recommended varieties can remain on the List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants.

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