In the last seven years the Queensland Department of Primary Industries (QDPI) annual reports on forage species trial work have shown a consistent message which is worth taking heed of.
The annual diploid ryegrass variety Aristocrat II significantly yielded higher than most annual ryegrasses and short term ryegrasses or biennials, a feat rarely achieved in forage evaluation trials.
Not only did Aristocrat II out yield all the annual ryegrasses in independent trials it also out yielded all the short term ryegrasses.
Dr Kevin Lowe, the breeder of Aristocrat II, from QDPI said that “none of the entries in the trials matched Aristocrat II for its winter production”.
Not only does Aristocrat II have superior yield it also has excellent rust resistance, with significantly higher rust resistance than well known varieties such as Hulk, Maximus, T-rex, Tetila, Abundant and Surrey. The results from the independent trials speak for themselves.
Fig 1. Seasonal and total yield (kg/ha) of annual ryegrasses sown in Experiment 2 at Mutdapilly, QLD DPI&F in 2007. (LSD (P=0.05): Autumn= 474; Winter=591.5; Spring=526.5; Total=926.7)
In this trial Aristocrat II had significantly more winter, spring and total growth than any of the other annual ryegrasses shown, a rare achievement in trials. Aristocrat II produced a total of 18,184 kg/ha of dry matter (DM). If you were to take the next best variety, which was Surrey at 15,841 kg/ha of DM, the difference between the two is 2343 kg/ha of DM for the season. With the increase in variable costs, such as fertiliser, this feed would be valued at 23 cents per kg of DM to produce. This would mean that the farmer would be making $539/ha with Aristocrat II compared to the next leading variety. This would be even more when compared to other popular varieties such as Tetila, Winterstar II and T-rex.
What is most important to farmers is winter feed. Aristocrat II produced 12% more winter feed than the next highest yielding annual ryegrass cultivar.
Results show that not only did Aristocrat II outperform all the annual ryegrasses in the independent trials it also outperformed the short term ryegrasses.
Fig 2. Seasonal and total yield (kg/ha) of annual and short term ryegrasses sown in Experiment 1 at Mutdapilly, QDPI in 2007. (LSD (P=0.05): Autumn= 565.3; Winter=641.9; Spring=501; Total before summer=1144.8; Summer=616.7; Overall total=1147)
Even when summer DM yield is included, which is unfair for an annual ryegrass as they will not produce feed in the summer, Aristocrat II still significantly out yielded these market accepted varieties. Aristocrat II produced a total of 19,185 kg/ha of dry matter (DM). If you were to take the next best variety, which was Hulk at 17,765 kg/ha of DM, the difference between the two is 1420 kg/ha of DM for the season. Using the same figures as above this would be an increase in profit over the season from Aristocrat II of $327/ha. If you were not to include summer it would be a whopping $802/ha.
The biggest difference between annual ryegrasses and short term ryegrasses is their winter yields, a time when feed is at its shortest. Aristocrat II had an amazing 21% higher winter DM yield than the next leading short term ryegrass variety. In fact Aristocrat II had a significantly higher spring yield than the next leading variety, an incredible effort since the short term ryegrasses will yield later into the spring.
In summary the consistently trial leading results that Aristocrat II has produced, over the 7 years it has been independently trialled, makes it the only choice for improving animal production on farm.
Aristocrat II is the grass for you due to:
- Its superior total yield in comparison to annual or short term ryegrasses.
- Its consistent rust resistance means it maintains quality for high DM consumption.
- Its outstanding winter growth when feed from other varieties is limited.
- Its mammoth spring yields for silage or hay production.