Consider deeper rooting grass varieties

Climate change is increasingly impacting grass-variety selection and, to help reduce forage losses, producers should consider sowing deeper-rooting varieties that are better able to withstand extremes of weather conditions.

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Grass breeders are now focusing on producing varieties with a deep root mass to help maintain reliable, consistent forage production during periods of wet weather or drought. Grass with better root structure not only benefits from more efficient nutrient uptake, but also delivers added benefits, such as better carbon sequestration and improved soil structure.

ForFarmers’ range of PLUS grasses are hybrid rye grasses that have been developed by crossing meadow or tall fescue with perennial or Italian ryegrass. These hybrid grasses have a quick growing, deep root mass that gives them greater stress tolerance. They are also faster to regrow.

ForFarmers includes the PLUS grasses in its TOPGRASS cutting leys, which aim to support multi-cut silaging systems by providing high yields of good-quality grass, with excellent rates of regrowth.

The PLUS grass, Hipast Perennial Tall Fescue PLUS, is also included in TOPGRASS grazing leys to help provide the ground cover, grass density and leaf softness required in grazing systems. Yielding an extra 1.5tDM/ha, and with increased protein content compared to standard tall fescues, Hipast Tall Fescue PLUS also offers a high D value of 71.7 and 11.4 ME.

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