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Published
14 .Apr.2020

The rise of next-generation grass variety tetraploids only with DLF

DLF bred its first dense tetraploids for forage as far back as 2008 and the first listing in Ireland was the variety Xenon recommended in 2016; DLF calls this generation of forage tetraploid varieties NxGen.

Grass is traded as a mixture because the perfect variety does not exist. What if you could combine the yield and quality of a tetraploid grass with the density and slender leaf of a diploid grass?

Grass is traded as a mixture because the perfect variety does not exist. What if you could combine the yield and quality of a tetraploid grass with the density and slender leaf of a diploid grass?

What if this delivered lower residuals and faster recovery. Sound like a fairy tale?

Developed at the DLF research and development site in Waterford and called NxGen Tetraploids, DLF varieties Xenon, and more recently Nashota, do exactly this.

  1. High yielding under grazing management (fast regrowth, dense growth);
  2. Reduced grazing wastage (high leaf proportion);
  3. Proven to be palatable (Teagasc grazing trials Xenon).

Looking at the ryegrass grazing studies conducted by Teagasc Moorepark over the last three years, ploidy has a large effect on how varieties perform under actual grazing whilst heading date to a much lesser extent.

Xenon is far removed from the traditional tetraploid to the extent it is often mistaken for a diploid, as its slender leaf and ground cover (density) resembles that of a diploid; but while carrying the yields, quality and most importantly as seen in the Teagasc grazing trials, low residuals.

The standard diploid and tetraploid plants are visually different. The NxGen plant could be easily confused as a diploid due to its density. This proves that it really is different and DLF believes it brings the positives of the diploid and tetraploid all into one variety such as DLF’s Xenon or Nashota.

Cows Were Designed To Eat Grass

The Science Behind It

Grass varieties can broadly be broken down into two categories: ploidy (diploid or tetraploid); and heading date.

When making up mixtures, the reference data comes from the Irish recommended list, Pasture Profit Index (PPI), and more recently the grazing studies carried out in Teagasc Moorepark, with the former two, both referencing heading date and ploidy groups.Traditionally, going beyond 50% of a mixture with tetraploids was certainly the exception rather than the rule. If we take stock first as to why we blend diploids and tetraploid varieties, the reasoning becomes clear.

Tetraploid varieties traditionally tended to be very erect and open in nature and this openness was often associated with poor persistency on farm. Also, an open sward leaving a lot of soil visible beneath was unpalatable to farmers and still is to a large extent today.

DLF as a breeder and seed supplier to the Irish market is not surprised by the fact that tetraploids graze better than diploid varieties, but the Teagasc grazing research allows us to compound that fact and ask the question: What next and where should the market go with this?

For information on DLF’s grass mixture DLF 4N Grazer, click here.

Grass Mixtures

Searching for dense tetraploid varieties is nothing new to DLF. In the amenity sector, DLF launched the 4Turf concept back in 2014 which was bringing tetraploids to the forefront of a diploid-dominated world.

Previously to this, diploid varieties were preferred from a density perspective; 4Turf turned that corner and offered faster establishment, deeper rooting and more tolerance to stress, and so the rise of the tetraploids began in the amenity world.

DLF bred its first dense tetraploids for forage as far back as 2008 and the first listing in Ireland was the variety Xenon recommended in 2016; DLF calls this generation of forage tetraploid varieties NxGen.

Now DLF has a second NxGen variety added to the PPI and recommended list called Nashota. It makes for good reading on the PPI with even seasonal growth and a very high total PPI figure of €186, which is superb to achieve.

However, the most important part to DLF is the fact that Nashota represents the second instalment in the NxGen story, carrying the same slender leaf and growth habit of Xenon. With varieties like Xenon and Nashota available, a tetraploid content of a mixture below 50% should become the exception.

Further Information

If you would like more information on the NxGen Tetraploid varieties from DLF, call:

Damian McAllister on: 0044-777-4249609;

John Enright on: 086-8290765.

Additionally, you can email: info@dlfseeds.ie. Follow DLF on Facebook by clicking here