Base is a top-performing tetraploid perennial ryegrass that has been consistent in the market for the past 10 years. Base is a particularly high-yielding cultivar that is densely tillered. It has very good yields in the cooler seasons and AR37 endophyte for strong persistence. Base is a good choice for intense dairy and sheep/beef systems, focusing on pasture management and quality. It is best suited to rotation grazing. It’s highly palatable, equating to high livestock intake and grazing preference, making the management of post-grazing residuals easy.
Intensification of farming systems relies on ryegrasses that can produce bulk, high-quality feed to accelerate animal production and performance. Tetraploid cultivars are a significant tool farmers can employ to help achieve these goals. Tetraploid plants have four sets of chromosomes per cell (versus a diploid with two). This makes tetraploid ryegrasses more palatable for livestock. The extra chromosome results in a bigger cell size and a higher ratio of cell content (soluble carbohydrates) to cell walls (fibre). Tetraploids are therefore naturally high in soluble carbohydrates (sugars).
Livestock will preferentially graze tetraploid over diploid grasses if given a choice and tend to graze them more quickly and evenly. The higher dry matter intake on these grasses results in improved animal performance. Furthermore, they are compatible with clover; their open and erect growth form promotes clover growth. The feed quality also improves silage quality.
A consideration of tetraploid grasses is that they require careful management as they are prone to overgrazing and susceptible to pugging in wet conditions and less resilient to drought.