Agricom prides itself on its thoroughly proven ryegrass portfolio, including the largest selling perennial ryegrass in New Zealand, Ceres ONE50. In addition to ONE50, Prospect is also coming through alongside for the slightly more challenging situation, while Request suits the needs of farmers looking for early spring production.
A big consideration for all farmers is the type of ryegrass to sow. There is much debate over heading dates and this provides a great opportunity to pick a ryegrass ideally suited to your farm, but it can be confusing. It is not possible to say that one heading date is ideal for all farms or even every paddock on a farm.
The heading date of a ryegrass cultivar is determined when 50% of plants have emerged seed heads. Flowering occurs after heading, and often people use the term “flowering date” to describe the lateness of a cultivar. Although there are different dates for the heading and flowering of a cultivar, the terms have the same meaning when comparing between cultivars.
Heading date can have some influence on the performance of a cultivar in a pasture. Late-heading cultivars put up stem and seed heads later in spring, so control of quality by grazing/topping/silage can be delayed. Quality of mid-spring silage is usually improved with later cultivars having fewer stems in the crop at harvest.
It is often a good idea to have different heading dates in different paddocks. On a sheep farm, you may sow late cultivars (e.g. Ceres ONE50) in several paddocks to use for growing lambs post-weaning to achieve fast growth rates and also to use during late lambing. Other pastures may be based on early-heading cultivars for high stocking rates during lambing (Samson/Request). On a dairy farm, paddocks mainly used for silage production could be sown in late cultivars, but with the majority sown with cultivars sitting at the start of the late heading range for maximum regrowth after the first two spring grazing rotations (Prospect).
In summary, Agricom have a thoroughly proven and well considered ryegrass portfolio with the benefits of New Zealand based plant breeding and world class endophyte technology. Good things take time, and that’s exactly the vision needed when delivering market leading endophyte and perennial ryegrass technologies for New Zealand farmers.