The latest rankings for the DairyNZ Forage Value Index, released early January, are a big accolade to the hard work of all our plant breeders and researchers here at Barenbrug, confirming they are delivering measurable value to the farmers of NZ.
So whether you’re looking for perennial, hybrid or shorter-term winter feed ryegrass options, we have you covered.
In the perennial ryegrass category, Maxsyn NEA4 joins the FVI list for the first time, with a 5 star rating nationwide.
The FVI system has four regions, and Maxsyn is rated a 5 star cultivar across both the upper and lower North and South Islands, showing its high performance is coupled with broad adaptability across many climates.
The 5 star category indicates pastures with the highest extra farm operating profit per ha compared to older ryegrass genetics, i.e. pre 1996.
DairyNZ calculates these cultivars to have a profit advantage of $423-$605/ha every year, depending on where in NZ they are sown.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on Maxsyn in our breeding system for 14 years; it is unbeaten in the industry-wide National Forage Variety Trial national summary, and having it debut as a 5 star ryegrass in the FVI is no surprise to us.
Persistent, robust, densely tillered, with superior summer and autumn growth, Maxsyn NEA4 comes with a great endophyte and the highest yield of any perennial ryegrass we have released.
Shogun hybrid ryegrass and Tabu+ Italian ryegrass have also once again come through at the top rating in the latest FVI lists.
The pair remain in a class of their own with no other cultivar being on the same level for production. They are the only five star ryegrasses in the 12 month feed category across all four regions of NZ.
In the winter feed category, Tabu+ is the only five star cultivar across all regions, with growth that the FVI calculates to be worth $366-$527/ha extra profit compared to older genetics, depending on region.
To put that in perspective, lowest ranked, 1 star cultivars in the FVI winter feed category, including the 30+ year old varieties Tama and Moata, are valued at a loss of $50/ha to a small gain of $88/ha, depending on region.
That’s a huge difference in performance and value, for a very modest difference in the price of seed, not to mention the importance of cool season growth for helping takeg up any excess soil nitrogen.