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Four leaf clover to feature at Royal NZ Show

Four leaf clover to feature at Royal New Zealand Show

New Zealand’s principal pastoral research institute believes its luck is in at the Royal New Zealand Show, which opened in Christchurch today.

A feature of AgResearch’s stand will be a display made out of four leaf clovers.Consisting of pots of green and silver leafed, pink and crimson clovers, the 1.2 metre display is being tended by AgResearch scientist Keith Widdup.

The multifoliate clover was developed by John Ford, a member of AgResearch’s Forage Improvement Section and based at the Grasslands campus in Palmerston North.

The four leaf clovers were originally developed in the hope they would provide greater dry matter yield than traditional white clover.

“However, the initial results were inconclusive as to whether there was an advantage in terms of dry matter yield over normal trifoliate clovers,” says Keith Widdup.

John Ford says the clovers could be further developed to become a better source of forage but there was also potential for them to be used in an ornamental capacity.

“We are currently negotiating with potential clients who see a variety of different possible uses for the plants.”

The four leaf clover display will be the centrepiece of an AgResearch display that will also showcase some of its cutting-edge R&D outcomes including a plot of ryegrass with the new endophyte strain AR37.

AR37 was launched by AgResearch subsidiary Grasslanz Technology™ and PGG Wrightson subsidiary Agricom earlier this year and is available to farmers this autumn.

Two of the “low-cost, easy care sheep” bred by scientist Dr David Scobie will feature at the stand. The sheep are characterised by no wool on the head, legs, belly or breech, and a shorter tail. They do not need to be docked and are less susceptible to fly-strike.

Many of the interactive displays that were part of AgResearch’s award winning 2006 National Field-days stand will also feature at the 2006 Royal Show.

ENDS

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