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Published
15 .Apr.2021

The root to.. ...reliable forage yields

Changing environmental and climatic conditions will challenge forage production. We offer grasses that can better handle spring and early summer drought, give optimal utilization of nutrients and will result in a strong, healthy and high yielding crop.

The secret is in the roots of the plants. We have gained extensive knowledge about grass root architecture that can help you secure your forage production and reduce drought related loss. 

 

 

Through our worldwide R&D network and the one-of-a-kind RadiMax root screening facility, we have gained unique knowledge about the root architecture of our grasses. Results show that roots that go deep and have a high mass, are better able to cope with extreme environmental and climatic conditions like drought. Grasses with a deep root mass help to secure a reliable, consistent forage production, and offer more efficient nutrient uptake, better carbon sequestration, improved soil structure and less need for irrigation.   

A deep root mass means:
  • Better growth during and after spring and early summer drought
  • Reliable forage production and a higher degree of self-sufficiency
  • Optimal use of input resources e.g. fertilizer, with higher feed quality as a result
  • A future-proof solution to buffer against environmental and climatic extremes e.g. drought 
  • Improved soil structure
  • Sustainable forage production​

Seeds coated with ProNitro® have what it takes to prepare for a spring drought

Farmers do not have to risk losing a newly sown sward to spring drought. Our ProNitro® seed coating gives their tender new plants the targeted nutrition they need to get ahead with stronger growth and deeper roots. ProNitro®-coated seeds produce seedlings that establish faster and grow 30% longer roots. This gives them a greater capacity to survive a spring drought.

Learn More here

About RadiMax  

A fast root growth is always an important factor as it helps the plant establish faster. The root architecture is also very important under drought situations where there is still water at deeper soil layers.
Together with Copenhagen University, DLF is testing the root architecture of grasses at the worlds most advanced root screening facility, RadiMax. It enables imaging of roots down to 3.0 m depth and at the same time the grasses can be exposed to increasing drought conditions through a soil moisture gradient, which can be induced in the system.  In this way, we can screen the root architecture of our grasses and find out which ones have the most reliable forage production under drought conditions. 

Multi-species swards

Our 6 Species Herbal Ley is a multi-species sward designed to give a range of benefits including high yields of quality forage at very low N fertilizer levels. One of the drivers behind the efficiency of this mixture is the diverse root system that forms underground. Each species in the sward has a different root structure – some shallow and dense, others long and deep. This means that plants can find every drop of water throughout the soil profile allowing the sward to keep producing excellent forage even in drought conditions. Because of this extensive and efficient root structure, multi-species swards can recover quickly from the harshest of droughts. 

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Low Input Pasture

DLF’s Low Input Pasture is made up of the most resilient forage grasses available and performs equally well in wet and heavy soils as dry. Similar to a multi-species sward, the diverse root structure that forms under this sward excels at finding water. Species like cocksfoot and tall fescue have deep fibrous roots for extra drought tolerance. The extensive root system is also excellent at foraging for nutrients meaning Low Input Pasture can perform with minimal N fertilizer application.

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 If you would like to learn more about our enviromental and sustainablity targets please contact Dr. Thomas Moloney on tmoloney@dlfseeds.ie