Festulolium (rye fescue) is a new forage grass developed by crossing a fescue (meadow fescue or tall fescue) with a ryegrass (perennial or Italian).
This enables to combine the best properties of the two types of grass.
The fescues contribute qualities such as resistance to cold, drought tolerance and persistence, while ryegrass is characterised by rapid establishment, good spring growth, good digestibility, sugar content and palatability. The individual festulolium varieties contain various combinations of these qualities and they can therefore be classified according to their degree of similarity to the parents.
Italian ryegrass types e.g. variety Becva
Morphologically and in terms of cultivation, they resembles Italian ryegrass and it is suitable for harvesting in the year of sowing and for one year of use, either in pure stand or together with e.g. red clover. The object is to combine the yield and quality of Italian ryegrass with the better persistence and resistance to xanthomonas, rust and snow mould of fescue.
Hybrid ryegrass type e.g. variety Lofa
Morphologically and in terms of cultivation, this hybrid resembles ryegrass with a persistence of up to 3-4 years, combined with a better resistance to xanthomonas, rust and snow mould.
Festulolium braunii type e.g. varieties Perun, Paulita and Persus
Morphologically these varieties resemble Italian ryegrass but, like meadow fescue, they live for up to four years. The types are suitable for both conservation and grazing. The object of the breeding programme is to retain yield and quality combined with resistance to rust and xanthomonas plus winterhardiness.
Tall fescue type e.g. varieties Hykor and Felina
Morphologically and in terms of cultivation, these types resemble tall fescue. They combine tolerance to frost, drought and heat with a better feed quality than that of tall fescue.
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