Perennial Ryegrass: Three New Recommendations and Three Candidates

Perennial ryegrass is one of the most important forage grasses in Swiss agriculture. Agroscope can now recommend three new cultivars based on the results of variety tests conducted from 2020 to 2022. Three further varieties also showed promise but are yet to be approved.

Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is a fast-growing, versatile forage grass with an ideal yield and quality profile. It is used in intensively managed clover-grass mixtures for mowing and grazing and is a mainstay of Swiss forage production. Farmers need high-yielding, highly digestible and robust varieties with good winter tolerance and solid disease resistance in order to capitalise on the outstanding characteristics of perennial ryegrass.

Variety testing with perennial ryegrass: accurate observations require field trials in repeated plots. (photo: Daniel Suter, Agroscope)

58 varieties tested in the field

From 2020 to 2022 Agroscope tested 39 new cultivars and 19 previously recommended varieties for their suitability for cultivation under Swiss conditions at five sites on the Swiss Plateau between Lake Geneva and Lake Constance and at two sites at higher altitudes. Both early and late varieties of perennial ryegrass are available, which in turn can be divided into diploid (two sets of chromosomes) and tetraploid (four sets of chromosomes) varieties. For this reason, the varieties are tested separately, according to earliness and ploidy.

Three new recommendations

Two diploid varieties from the late range, ‘Delika’ and ‘Randy’, have been newly recommended. Both received top marks in seven of the nine rated characteristics, and thus exhibited virtually no weaknesses. ‘Delika’ excelled in yield, juvenile development, persistence and suitability for cultivation at higher altitudes, while ‘Randy’ scored particularly well in terms of sward structure, digestibility and resistance to foliar diseases. The tetraploid late variety ‘Bubalus’ was highly rated for sward structure, suitability for cultivation at higher altitudes and digestibility, the traits that earned it its recommendation.

Three candidates

The two new late cultivars tested – ‘LP 1215’ and ‘LP 1658’ – and the only early cultivar, ‘LP 1187’, also successfully demonstrated their agronomic qualities. However, before these new cultivars can be recommended, they must fulfil further requirements for placing on the market, which are currently being clarified. Once this has been done, there is nothing to prevent their recommendation.

Three deletions

Three previously recommended varieties – ‘Arvicola’, ‘Alligator’ and ‘Mercedes’ – have lost their recommendation due to unsatisfactory performance. These varieties may no longer be used as recommended varieties after 2025.

Agroscope recommended varieties

Agroscope regularly tests different forage crop varieties to provide up-to-date, reliable recommendations for Swiss agriculture. The continuously updated ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’ forms the basis for developing the best seed mixtures and is an essential guide for Swiss ley farming.


  • Perennial ryegrass is a versatile, high-performance forage grass for intensive use which plays a key role in Swiss forage production.
  • Agroscope tested 58 varieties of perennial ryegrass between 2020 and 2022.
  • The new cultivars ‘Delika’, ‘Randy’ and ‘Bubalus’ have been added to the List of Recommended Varieties.
  • The previously recommended varieties ‘Arvicola’, ‘Alligator’ and ‘Mercedes’ have been removed from the list.
  • The new recommendations significantly improve the quality of perennial ryegrass varieties available.

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