2015–2017 variety trials with xFestulolium braunii and brome grass

Between 2015 and 2017, Agroscope tested seven new varieties of xFestulolium braunii (K. Richter) A. Camus and four varieties of brome grass (Bromus spp.) for their agronomic properties in comparative trials at six locations. The characteristics studied were yield, juvenile development, general impression, competitive ability, persistence, resistance to leaf diseases and bacterial wilt, winter hardiness, and digestibility of organic matter. An index value calculated for each variety allows comparison with the already recommended standard varieties. Since no recommended varieties exist for xFestulolium braunii, these were compared with four standard varieties of hybrid ryegrass (Lolium x hybridum Hausskn.). The tested varieties of xFestulolium braunii failed to meet expectations. Only ’Felimare’, an Agroscope selection, achieved the level of the standard varieties, but without meeting the minimum requirement for the recommendation. The inclusion of one or more varieties of xFestulolium braunii on the list of recommended varieties is therefore not possible. For the brome grass, although the new variety DLF BSI-3301, a ’sitchensis’-type brome grass, can now be added to the list of recommended varieties of forage plants, it does not yet meet the legal requirements for being placed on the market in Switzerland.

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