Farm Ireland

Thursday 14 December 2017

New Oakpark grass ready for market in 2019

Oakpark grass variety
Oakpark grass variety

A NEW late diploid grass called Oakpark after where it was bred will be on the market in 2019.

Goldcrop's Dave Barry said the new variety grass has progressed through the Agriculture Department's recommended list trial and was expected to have a Pasture Profit Index (PPI) in the region of €130-140/ha/year.

"It should come on the recommended list as one of the best late diploids," said Mr Barry, with the trials of the Teagasc Oakpark grass bred by Dr Pat Conaghan currently indicating it would rank in second place as one of the best late diploids.

"What sets it apart is it has good spring production and it has good digestibility." Mr Barry said it will be mixed with varieties such as Aston Energy and the newcomer to the list the late heading variety Meiduno.

"The Oakpark will be bringing a bit more density," he said after three years of trials.

So far it has performed well after being sown on just one commercial farm - that of Zurich Farm Insurance Farming Independent Farmer of the Year winner Peter Hynes in Co Cork.

Mr Barry said there was more interest in grass varieties with the significant increase in dairy production.

"We see that continuing and the foundation of it all is grass," he said, with Goldcrop in the midst of a 10-year agreement with Teagasc to market the best performing grasses.

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"Grass reseeding rates are increasing and people are more tuned in now to wanting the best varieties and there is more awareness at farm level."

Mr Barry said there are four or five new varieties grown at Oakpark each year which then go to trial.

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