First perennial ryegrass variety from Teagasc/Goldcrop marketing agreement makes Irish Recommended List
Oakpark, a new late diploid perennial ryegrass variety with a Pasture Profit Index of €118, has been added to the 2019 Recommended Grass Variety List in Ireland for the first time. This is the first variety to be commercialised from the marketing agreement signed between Teagasc and Goldcrop in 2013. The Oakpark grass variety has very good balance for spring, summer and autumn growth and high silage values. It rates as the second highest late diploid variety in the recommended list.
Oakpark was bred by Patrick Conaghan who is the forage grass and clover breeder in Teagasc, based in Oak Park, County Carlow. Teagasc has an effective grass breeding programme with circa. One-third share of forage varieties on the Ireland Recommended List. Its clover breeding programme is especially strong with many of the highest preforming clover varieties, including Coolfin, Buddy and Dublin. Further varieties currently undergoing seed increase for future release by Goldcrop include Glenmore and Gleneagle, two late diploid perennial ryegrass varieties, and Fearga, a red clover variety. Fearga is the first Irish bred red clover variety and the highest yielding red clover variety on the UK Recommended List trials.
Speaking at the grassland conference today, Thursday, 28 February at Teagasc headquarters, Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: ”Oakpark is the first of a steady stream of perennial grass varieties that will be created from the grass breeding programme here in Carlow. It is fantastic that Goldcrop can now propagate and market this variety for Irish farmers. Teagasc are really satisfied that their varieties are been marketed and sold by an Irish owned company. One of the main reasons for having an Irish grass breeding programme is to create varieties suitable for Irish grassland farmers.”
Dave Barry, General Manager Grass Seed and Forage Crop, Goldcrop, remarked “Improved varieties ensure the continued advancement of the grass-based systems. Teagasc forage breeding is excellently placed to produce outstanding new varieties, like Oakpark, due to its location and motivation to adapt the latest technology. It is an exciting time for Goldcrop to begin bringing these ever-improving varieties to farm”.
Professor Frank O’Mara, Director of Research in Teagasc said: “The grass breeding programme at Oakpark is developing all the time. Recently we have incorporated genomic selection into the programme and Pat Conaghan and Stephen Byrne have developed new candidate varieties with this technology. We hope that this material will bring high preforming traits to the fore. The focus of the grass breeding programme is to have varieties suitable for Irish grassland farmers that score high up on the PPI list, and are balanced for all traits.
John Murphy, General Manager of Goldcrop said: “This partnership continues a long and proud tradition within Goldcrop to support breeding advancement, that allows us to bring the best plant genetics to Irish farms and now further afield.”