A&P competition success with perennial ryegrass Three60
Adam Hardie and Don Hayes from Darrochs Grazing in Bankside have won the Supreme Award at the Ellesmere A&P Winter Feed Competition for another year. Last year’s win was with a Jamon fodder beet while this year was the category perennial pasture, with Agricom’s new Three60 diploid perennial ryegrass taking the top spot.
The team at Darrochs Grazing have been long-term users of ONE50 perennial ryegrass. When Steve Roulston, who services them out of the PGG Wrightson Darfield store, suggested they try the latest variety replacement, Three60, Adam and Don did not hesitate.
“We have used ONE50 at our grazing operation since it was released in 2009. It has been a reliable and high-quality grass for us, so when Steve mentioned that the next breeding line was available, we jumped at the chance to get some of the trial seed before it was released commercially,” says Don.
Adam explains that they expect a lot from the grasses on-farm. “We can be a little tough on them with frequent silage cuts taken from the new grass paddocks in the first year they are established. Steve stays up to date with new grass varieties and is quick to tell us if he hears of a cultivar that might work well in our system. He knows we have high expectations for perennial ryegrasses; it must be good quality and persistent across our grazing blocks.”
Three60 is a late-heading diploid perennial ryegrass of medium to fine tiller size. It has a similar heading date to ONE50. Three60 has undergone a broad selection process, creating a resilient perennial ryegrass, demonstrating a stay-green habit through dry summer conditions. This is particularly noticeable in the dryland areas at Darrochs Grazing, where the topsoil is often shallow and natural soil moisture retention is low.
A forage trait of Three60 is that it is a vegetative cultivar that produces minimal seed head with regular grazing or cutting, making late spring and summer pasture management easier. This has proven beneficial for Adam and Don, as they frequently cut their Three60 for silage through spring and summer and then feed the silage out over winter on their forage crops.
“Our Three60 paddocks have allowed us an extra grazing or silage cut when compared to the neighbouring ONE50 paddock that was sown at the same time and under the same conditions. I have been pleased to see that when we get a 4.5 tonne cut of silage, Three60 is still green right to the base,” says Adam.
Both Adam and Don are excited to continue sowing Three60 perennial ryegrass and are aiming to use it as their autumn-sown grass next year.
Learn how Three60 perennial ryegrass could fit your farming system by contacting your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative.