The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Teagasc recently released the Pasture Profit Index (PPI) for 2020.
Intermediate tetraploid seed AberClyde is the highest-performing variety overall on the 2020 PPI, at €205/ha/year – moving up one place in the list since 2019 and bred by IBERS (Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences) in Wales.
The Teagasc PPI compares and ranks grass varieties based on economic worth and was established in 2015 as a guide to help farmers.
Each variety is given a monetary value based on its contribution to net profit/ha. This is based on traits such as seasonal (spring, summer and autumn) dry matter (DM) yield, grass quality, silage DM production and varietal persistency.
AberChoice, meanwhile, is the highest-performing late diploid at €176/ha/year, while AberMagic has maintained its position as top intermediate diploid at €187/ha/year – and third-highest ranked variety overall.
AberGain, a popular late tetraploid variety, is still the leading late tetraploid variety and came out second overall at €192/ha/year – down from top place in the list last year.
Since January 1, this year, farms in derogation must include a minimum of 1.5kg/ha naked clover seed when reseeding.
The highest yielding large-leaf variety of white clover on the PPI is Barblanca. This variety is suitable for silage production, but unsuitable for grazing.
Another large leaf variety, only introduced this year, is Violin – bred by DLF. It is also more suited to silage production, rather than grazing.
Similarly, the highest-yielding medium leaf variety is Buddy, followed by Chieftain. These are both well suited to grazing.
According to Tipperary-based seed specialist Germinal Ireland, when selecting grass seed mixtures focus on varieties with strong PPI values and high quality.
Choosing varieties with positive values for quality will help ensure you have a palatable mixture, which will support higher animal intakes and animal performance.
It added that varieties with good spring and autumn growth are also desirable to increase grass availability at these key points in your grazing season.
The full Recommended List for Grass and White Clover Varieties 2020 is available to view here.