Mixing tetraploid & diploid ryegrass

Mixing 4front with a diploid perennial ryegrass such as Maxsyn or Governor offers potential to produce higher animal performance, with easier pasture management, than traditional pasture.

 

Background

Tetraploid/diploid mixes fit a range of farm systems as they are more persistent than a straight tetraploid pasture, because diploid plants protect the tetraploid.
On many farms the tetraploid/diploid perennial ryegrass mix is now the norm, striking a near-ideal balance between pasture palatability and robustness, growing more energy (MJ ME/ha) and being easier to manage than straight diploid perennial ryegrass.


Tetraploid perennial ryegrass, like 4front, has excellent DM yield and year-round growth, but being so palatable, many farmers have struggled to avoid over grazing and achieve the persistence they want. Adding a denser, finer diploid ryegrass to the mix changes the dynamics.

 

The tetraploid/diploid mix is an average of the two types, denser and more robust than a straight tetraploid, and more palatable than a straight diploid.

 

Palatability & stems
The palatability of the pasture is due to 4front's soft stems, which give improved animal performance and hold quality even at high covers (e.g. 3500-3600 kg DM/ha) making them easy to graze.

 

Diploid protects from overgrazing
While straight tetraploid pastures are often overgrazed, reducing persistence, in the mix they are protected by the denser, less palatable, diploid plants.

 

Sowing rate

Barenbrug has tested different tetraploid/diploid perennial ryegrass mixes and recommends sowing half the normal rate of each cultivar, e.g.15 kg/ha of tetraploid 4front (half of 30 kg) plus 10 kg/ha of a diploid such as Trojan, Governor or Maxsyn (half of 20 kg).