prof. dr. ir. Reheul Dirk
Breeding germplasm and varieties of new grasses with improved forage quality for extreme weather conditions
There are plenty of analyses regarding climate change and its potential consequences for agriculture in north west Europe. Proactive initiatives to mitigate the effects are scarce. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) the most important high quality forage species has a weak drought tolerance. Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) has the potential to outyield perennial ryegrass with 20%, has an excellent drought tolerance and nutrient use efficiency but the animal preference and the digestibility actually are insufficient. Our research group is studying the causes for the low quality and simultaneously is breeding germplasm and varieties with a better forage quality.
New germplasm and new varieties of tall fescue with improved forage quality are of value and help for grassland farming in a setting of extreme weather conditions.