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26 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM26 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM highly concentrated production units such as the Benelux countries investments are more intensive both in land and production facilities and bigger units in shed feeding systems are normal. Forage Grass Grazing and Silage Differences in production systems cause different requirements for varieties. Varieties for grazing should have good palatability Years from Starting Point Activity 1 to 2 Cross 1000 pairs of plants 3 Multiply 1000 pair-cross families 4 to 6 Evaluate 100000 progeny plants and select the best 500 6 to 7 Replicate selected plants allow them to inter-cross in groups and sow individual progeny families 8 to 10 Evaluate families as plots in randomized trials 2000 plots and keep parents 11 Synthesise candidate varieties from best parents nine to 10 parents for each variety 12 to 15 Multiply and evaluate candidate varieties 16 to 20 Enter best candidate varieties into independent trials for 1 value for cultivation and use 2 distinctiveness uniformity and stability TABLE 2. Typical Breeding Procedure for Perennial Ryegrass WHERE DO THE STRIPES ON STADIUM TURF COME FROM The light and dark stripes or checks are clearly visible from the stand or on your own television screen but where do they come from Were different types of turf grasses used or did the groundsman paint them on Turf experts and greenkeepers in particular are frequently asked these and other questions in the run-up to the European Football Championships in France. Neither is the simple answer from Lars Obernolte turf product manager at Deutsche Saatveredelung AG DSV one of Europes most successful breeders of turf grasses. The pattern is produced by mowing. The mowers roll the grass in the direction of travel creating shades of dark and light areas which are visible from a distance. Pitch at German soccer team Werder Bremen. Photo DSV poaching resistance low stem regrowth good rust resistance and high digestibility to meet the animals needs. They will also require high production in early spring and late fall to maintain steady levels over the season whereas high summer production may not be a necessity. For silage use the main target is high biomass production. Density and palatability requirements are less of an issue with the increasing size of machinery some kind of wear tolerance may be needed in the future. Silage is normally used together with other roughage such as maize so the digestibility of the fibre fraction is more important than the shared digestibility to make the ideal combination. Systems are combined in several ways and in some places it is common practice to graze paddocks in periods with low forage production and produce silage during peak production. Farming Systems Affect Demand As farms grow bigger they tend to shift from grazing- to silage-based production. As we expect the trend for bigger farms to continue forage grass breeding will reflect an increased demand for silage types. On the other hand we also observe a trend toward increased organic farming in several countries which will increase the demand for grazing-type varieties. Forage Grass Mixtures Individual Needs As farmers use grasses in mixtures breeding targets will address a specific mixture type. A grazing mixture contains early and late varieties to cover production during the year. To ensure an adequate protein content clovers are often added. A mixture may also contain tetraploid varieties to ensure good silage production and if prone to drought other species such as tall fescue may be included. In addition crossing between species is also used in many mixtures. Hybrid ryegrass which originates from crosses between Italian and perennial ryegrass will enhance production in the spring from the Italian parent and ensure longer lays from the perennial parent. Festuloliums combine high forage quality from ryegrass with persistency and drought tolerance from fescues into one hybrid variety. Breeding Targets Different Regions and Disease Resistance Overall the main breeding target is high dry matter yield and forage varieties are plot-tested throughout Europe for the same reason. The importance of other traits differs with environment and production system type across Europe. Most countries conduct national and local testing and provide regional recommendations. Breeding goals according to region include the following listed below. In Northern and Western Europe where the oceanic climate mild winters and adequate moisture favour high grass production of high quality the main targets are yield and quality. The main forage species is perennial ryegrass. Plant diseases can be a problem in some years and locations so resistance to rust and leaf spot Helminthosporium is an additional breeding goal. In Scandinav ia breeding targets resemble some of the local conditions of the mountains of western Europe. These conditions require winter hardiness and snow mould Fusarium resistance which may compromise the requirement for high yields. The choice of species may lean toward more winter persistent types such as timothy but intermediate tetraploid perennial ryegrass is a good solution due to its high quality.