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28Aug

The new breed of Kiwi determination

Words and images supplied by Seed Force.

Selecting a perennial ryegrass that both performs and persists under the pressures of our unique New Zealand environment is a challenge for many farming systems. SF Hustle delivers on production and its features will be sure to impress on farm.

SF Hustle is one of the latest releases from Seed Force’s perennial ryegrass development programme. It takes years to create a new cultivar, but investing the time, effort and resources required helps ensure confidence in a variety once its commercialised.

Standout performer SF Hustle was selected from a genetic pool of robust, high yielding material that was able to withstand a range of challenging conditions. Both Seed Force and industry trials are proving it to be a reliable, persistent variety with solid production across the seasons making it suitable to many systems nationwide.

Bred to be densely tillered, this diploid perennial ryegrass is able to withstand grazing pressures across all stock types. In addition to this, the mid heading date (+8 relative to Nui) sets it aside from the majority of grasses in the New Zealand perennial market which are often later heading.

Selecting a cultivar with an earlier heading date offers the benefit of early season growth which is an important factor when matching pasture production to animal feed requirements.

First evaluated by Seed Force’s nationwide trialling programme SF Hustle impressed with its quick establishment and ability to compete with other well-known commercial cultivars. Seed Force data also highlighted the cultivar’s high yielding ability, which was supported by its consistent strong performance in independent cultivar evaluation via the New Zealand National Forage Variety Trial (NFVT) system. 

There are two types of NFVT trials: yield and persistence. These run for three and five years respectively, and entries must be trialled for a minimum of three years before they appear on summary tables. SF Hustle has demonstrated an outstanding performance, consistently featuring towards the top of these trials. These, and more results can be viewed on the New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association Inc. (NZPBRA) website.  

The semi-upright growth habit of SF Hustle also allows for a diversified pasture mix with components such as clovers and herbs benefiting from the open nature of the sward. Promoting legume content in a pasture allows for fixation of atmospheric nitrogen, which is then available for grass growth, an increasingly important feature as nitrogen caps limit the use of synthetic fertiliser products.  

Where summer moisture deficits are likely, many systems are incorporating resilient species such as cocksfoot into their perennial pastures mixes. SF Hustle perennial ryegrass pairs well with new generation cocksfoot SF Greenly II for added summer resilience, particularly in high input systems such as dairy farms.

Seed Force recommends reducing the rate of SF Hustle and adding 3-5kg/ha of cocksfoot into the pasture mix. Once established, the cocksfoot gives added production under hot temperatures, and a greater water response than other perennial species. 

For more information on SF Hustle and resilient pastures talk to your local Ruralco On-Farm Account Manager.

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