Recommended grass and clover list 2010

Published 26 April 10

The Recommended Grass & Clover List for 2010 gives grassland farmers, amongst other things, performance characteristics of grass and clover.

"The publication is extremely useful for all grassland farmers," says Dr Elizabeth Berry, DairyCo research and development manager. "It allows you to select a variety that will perform well for your particular system and end use. The lists are drawn up after rigorous testing for qualities such as yield, persistency, quality and disease resistance.

"I look at it as the grass and clover equivalent to the bull proof for grasses," says Elizabeth. "By using old varieties you are missing out on millions of pounds worth of investment made by plant breeders in order to produce new, superior grasses and clovers.  There are even huge differences in performance between the varieties on the Recommended List - as much as 3t/ha yield difference between the top and bottom rated varieties in some species.

"One of the best ways for a dairy farmer to reduce costs is to produce more and better quality feed on the farm rather than buying in," Elizabeth says.

"There is a huge potential for this type of saving on many dairy farms by using the best available plant variety for your system.

"Over the past 12 years grass varieties on the Recommended List have seen an average increase of 5% in yield and more than 2% in digestibility, equating to a 10% increase in animal output," she concludes.

As well as the Recommended Grass and Clover List the publication also includes information on:

  • Assessing existing pasture
  • Reasons to reseed
  • How to get the best from reseeding
  • Choosing the right varieties of grass and clover for your system

The testing is funded by a levy paid by merchants and retailers participating in the Grass Levy Scheme, on the sale of the recommended varieties that appear in the booklet. The varieties that made it on to the lists have been trialed for at least two seasons on the National List and often a further three years on the Recommended List, and the results are heavily scrutinised by a panel of experts.

The recommended list booklet is produced for use in England and Wales. While it may be applicable to growers in Scotland they should also consult publications suitable for their area.