AFBI’s Galgorm breaks away from the pack

Date published: 16 January 2024

Area of Expertise:

AFBI-bred Galgorm is the highest performing perennial ryegrass available in Ireland according to the Grass and White Clover Recommended List Varieties for Ireland 2024, produced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Galgorm generates a net profit of €266/ha/year, equivalent to an improvement of at least €26/ha/year compared with all other varieties on the list. The grass breeding research programme at AFBI Loughgall is supported by funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), with varieties marketed by AFBI’s commercial partner Barenbrug UK Ltd.

Galgorm Grass variety photo

Galgorm has already impressed on recommended lists across the UK, appearing as one of the top varieties in its class on the 2023/2024 Recommended Grass and Clover Lists (RGCL) for England and Wales, and the Grass and Clover Varieties for Scotland 2023-2024. But now, Galgorm has also achieved the coveted spot of the best-performing perennial ryegrass variety in Ireland.

Galgorm first entered recommended lists in the UK in 2018 and has maintained its position at the top of the intermediate diploid category for ME yield under grazing management since then, with no other intermediate diploid variety on the RGCL producing more yield per hectare under grazing. The Pasture Profit Index (PPI), which ranks grass varieties tested across ROI in economic terms, with each variety assigned a monetary value for contribution to net profit/ha based on traits such as seasonal yield, grass quality, silage production and persistency, has now confirmed these results. Galgorm is an excellent all-round performer right across the growing season, producing extremely high grazing yields of high-quality grass with characteristically high ME yields.

There is breadth and depth to the AFBI portfolio with the PPI list for 2024 containing 10 AFBI varieties specifically bred for use on farm in N. Ireland and beyond under different silage and grazing situations. Of special note are tetraploid varieties Gracehill and Tollymore, both of which produced a net profit of €225/ha/year. Gracehill is the top-performing late tetraploid variety on the PPI for 2024 and is another excellent all-round performer right across the growing season, exceling in autumn growth and silage yield in particular. AFBI-bred varieties now take top place in two of the four ryegrass testing categories on the ROI recommended list and represent around 30% of the recommendations.

As the AFBI Loughgall grass breeding research programme moves from strength to strength, AFBI continually seeks to push the bar of grass breeding research in the UK and Ireland, providing new and improved varieties of ryegrass to farmers that can meet the ever-changing production and climate-based demands and challenges of our grassland and livestock industries.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo captions:
    Image 1-513_1x: David Linton (Barenbrug UK Agriculture Commercial Manager) and Gillian Young (AFBI Forage Grass Breeder) at the forage grass breeding plots at AFBI, Loughgall.
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