ABS37469

Early season performance of ryegrass cultivars in Ireland in spring 2018


  • Poster Presentation
  • Poster 12 (Flash Talk: 11 Jun 2018 14:51)
  • Foyer, UCD Agriculture and food science Centre
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Conor Holohan*
School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Lyons Farm, Lyons Estate, Celbridge, Naas, Co. Kildare, W23 ENY2.

Cornelia Grace
School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Lyons Farm, Lyons Estate, Celbridge, Naas, Co. Kildare, W23 ENY2.

Eugene Brennan
School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Lyons Farm, Lyons Estate, Celbridge, Naas, Co. Kildare, W23 ENY2.

Mary Bridget Lynch
School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Lyons Farm, Lyons Estate, Celbridge, Naas, Co. Kildare, W23 ENY2.

*Presenting Author


Grass-based farming in Ireland relies on herbage growth to support animal performance in early spring, therefore spring dry matter (DM) production is a highly desirable trait in new grass cultivars. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of ryegrass type and cultivar on spring growth and DM production. A replicated plot experiment with five ryegrass (Lolium) types was sown at UCD Lyons Farm 17 September 2017, with four replicates of each treatment. Four perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne; PRG) cultivars of varying heading date and ploidy were sown: Genesis (early-heading diploid), Nifty (intermediate-heading diploid), Aberchoice (late-heading diploid), and Abergain (late-heading tetraploid), as well as a hybrid ryegrass, Aberecho (tetraploid). Following establishment plots were cut 7 December and fertilised with nitrogen (N; granular urea; 460 g N/kg) at a rate of 36 kg N/ha 22 February. Plots were harvested with a Haldrup (Løgstør, Denmark) forage harvester after the winter growth period 23 March 2018. Samples were taken and dried at 45°C for 72h for DM yield determination. Daily growth and herbage yield were analysed using SAS 9.4. Meteorological data showed that soil temperature was on average 3.1°C lower for the months of January, February and March in 2018 in comparison to the average for the previous five years. Aberecho, the hybrid ryegrass yielded 2817 kg DM/ha, which was significantly higher than the PRG (P<0.0001). Abergain yielded 1331 kg DM/ha which was the highest (P<0.05) of the PRG cultivars. Aberchoice and Nifty had the lowest yields (P<0.05) of all ryegrasses evaluated, with 846 kg DM/ha and 758 kg DM/ha respectively. To conclude, Aberecho, the hybrid ryegrass, produced more grass compared to any of the PRG cultivars (P<0.05) and could be recommended as a high-producing ryegrass type for early spring growth.