New Irish grass variety – Oak Park…what you need to know

Oakpark is the new grass variety on the block and very importantly it is an Irish bred variety – the first to come through the Teagasc/Goldcrop marketing agreement. As its tag line goes – it’s ‘Irish bred for Irish farmers’.

Patrick Cashman – Goldcrop – gave a quick run down of the high points of the variety at its launch, which was very appropriately held in Teagasc Oak Park, Co. Carlow last week.

Varieties are divided into the following categories: intermediate diploid (ID); intermediate tetraploid (IT); late diploid (LD); late tetraploid (LT).

Oakpark (LD) is one of eight new varieties on the recommended list and is joined by: Gusto (ID); Astonking (LD); Aberwolf (ID); Smile (LD); Ballintoy (LT); Triwarwic (LT); and Briant (LT). It falls into the late diploid category.

Oakpark

Oakpark has a heading date of June 2. Patrick made the point that it has a good spring growth rate.

“The quality is improved compared to a lot of the older diploids. Genetic gain is moving varieties forward all of the time.”

Patrick sees it fitting in where farmers want to take one cut of silage and graze that ground for the remainder of the season.

It has excellent characteristics for grazing and it gives good silage yield.

Ground cover

He continued on to say that ground cover can be a contentious issue. Many farmers prefer varieties with good ground cover and Patrick added that he is happy to see a farmer reseeding with a variety with good ground cover, rather than not reseeding at all.

“There is a section of farmers out there that desire good ground cover and that’s a prerequisite to them having confidence to go and reseed. It’s important to have the denser option.

In a year or two it looks like this variety will be the only late diploid on the recommended list.

“It has a good PPI and also has good ground cover,” he added.

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