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Cultivar information aids autumn pasture decisions

Cultivar information aids autumn pasture decisions

DairyNZ is encouraging farmers to use the latest Forage Value Index lists to help make decisions on perennial ryegrass cultivars.

The DairyNZ Forage Value Index (FVI) was launched last May as an initiative between DairyNZ and the New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association (NZPBRA). The region-specific FVIs utilise seasonal dry matter yields from NZPBRA’s National Forage Variety Trials.

DairyNZ’s Dr Jeremy Bryant says the latest set of FVI lists were released in December.

“The lists, which are available at, include a number of new cultivars,” says Jeremy.

“Cultivars are grouped based on their expected economic and seasonal dry matter production merit. A five star system is used, where five is the best. Farmers should aim to select cultivars that have a minimum of three stars for FVI.”

The FVI provides an economic index rating for most of the perennial ryegrass cultivar and endophyte combinations on the market. Some cultivar and endophyte options are still not included as they have not met the minimum trial requirements to be FVI eligible.

Endophyte choice is important, especially for regions north of Taupo, due to pest pressure, says Jeremy.

“The FVI will strengthen over time as persistence and nutritive value information is included in the index. There are a number of NZPBRA and DairyNZ initiatives in place to collect the required information,” he says.

The FVI website also provides step-by-step guides to help dairy farmers maximise their return on investment. These include information on paddock selection and preparation; sowing seed; and on-going pasture management.

For more information, visit


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