Extensive breeding and testing is carried out in the most important forage grass species as well as in small-seeded forage legumes. The main species are perennial ryegrass, Italian, annual and hybrid ryegrass, timothy, meadow fescue, tall fescue, cocksfoot, smooth-stalked meadow-grass, red fescue and different clover species.
The DSV forage grass breeders focus on varieties at the top level of dry matter yield, persistence, disease resistance, winter hardiness, sward density, spring or autumn growth and drought tolerance. Presently, forage quality has become an important focus to improve forage value of grasses significantly. Increasing attention is also given to biomass and bioenergy production, a growing market all over Europe. Existing varieties are tested and new breeding material will be selected for this purpose. Another interesting aspect in breeding is the effectiveness of the use of nitrogen.
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