The 2021/2022 Recommended Grass and Clover Lists (RGCL) for England and Wales feature nine new varieties – seven ryegrasses, one white clover and an intermediate festulolium hybrid type.

The RGCL is funded by plant breeders through the AHDB, British Society of Plant Breeders, British Grassland Society and Hybu Cig Cymru. Only grasses and clovers that have undergone at least four years of independent testing are included, with the varieties rigorously tested for factors such as total and seasonal yield, feed quality, disease and persistence before listing. Trials data is supplied by NIAB-TAG, Barenbrug, IBERS, DLF Seeds, DSV, AFBI and SRUC.

AberSirius white clover (bred by IBERS and marketed by Germinal) is included for its excellent autumn ground cover in the first harvest year under light defoliation. It has good yields in the second and third harvest years, plus very good grass and clover yields for its leaf size, and high early and late cut yields.

AberRoot intermediate festulolium hybrid (Germinal) has an excellent D-value under simulated grazing management with high spring growth and good ME yield. Good yields under conservation management with high first and second cut D-values. Limited data shows good resistance to mildew and drechslera.

Wetherby late perennial ryegrass (DLF Seeds) has an excellent grazing yield, D-value and ME yield under simulated grazing; excellent yields under conservation management, with excellent ground cover in the third harvest year. It has excellent winter hardiness and good resistance to crown rust.

Zorgue late perennial ryegrass (DLF Seeds) has good D-value under simulated grazing for a late diploid, with excellent early summer growth. Under conservation management, first and second D-values are excellent with good first and fourth cut yields. Excellent ground cover under both management regimes and good resistance to crown rust.

Delika late perennial ryegrass (bred by GIE Grass and marketed by Germinal) has excellent yield under simulated grazing with excellent early summer growth and good grazing D-value and ME yield for a late diploid. It has excellent third cut yield in the first harvest year under conservation management and excellent resistance to crown rust.

Ritchie intermediate perennial ryegrass (Bred by DLF Seeds and marketed by Limagrain) has excellent grazing yield and ground cover with excellent late-summer and autumn growth under simulated grazing management. Good yields and excellent ground cover under conservation management with excellent second and fourth cut yields and excellent winter hardiness.

Pinaco Italian ryegrass (DSV) has good yields in both harvest years with excellent second conservation cut yield in the first harvest year and good yields under the monthly cutting regime. Good ground cover in both harvest years. Limited data shows good resistance to mildew.

AberSheen hybrid ryegrass (bred by IBERS and marketed by Germinal) has excellent yields in all three harvest years and under monthly cutting with excellent second conservation cut yield in the first harvest year. Good ME yield in the first harvest yield and excellent resistance to mildew. Specifically recommended for conservation in areas with low risk of crown rust.

RGT Cordial hybrid ryegrass (bred by R2n and marketed by RAGT Seeds) has excellent yields in the first and second harvest years and under the monthly cutting regime with excellent ground cover in the second harvest year. Good first and second cut D-values and third harvest year ground cover. Good resistance to crown rust.

“The lists are an invaluable resource for grassland farmers, enabling them to select varieties that will perform well in a particular system,” says AHDB grass & forage senior scientist Siwan Howatson. “When thinking about reseeding, the RGCL should be used to check that the varieties being selected are on the lists and are the best available, helping farmers make informed decisions alongside their seed merchants about the varieties that best meet their needs.”

The 2021/2022 RGCL handbook and the full lists for merchants can be downloaded here.