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Devour Tetraploid Ryegrass:
What is Devour ?
Devour is a replacement for the very successful Apollo Gold and like Apollo Gold is an American bred tetraploid ryegrass.
What's a tetraploid ryegrass ?
Tetraploid ryegrasses are a common feature in today's ryegrass market. Worldwide the use of them in short term grasses is extensive and there is a growing trend the perennial ryegrasses market. Tetraploid ryegrasses are artificially created by plant breeders normally by converting an existing diploid ryegrass from their breeding programs.
There are two major differences between a diploid and tetraploid which are:
- Diploids have 2 sets of chromosomes per cell and tetraploids have 4 sets of chromosomes per cell. Because of this tetraploids have roughly double the sugars, carbohydrate, water etc per cell than a tetraploid.
- Although tetraploids have 4 sets of chromosomes per cell the cell wall itself is not any different in thickness, therefore, it is "stretched out" and thinner to accommodate the extra 2 sets of chromosomes. This is important as tetraploids have less cellulose and are easier to digest by the animals.
What's the advantage of tetraploids ?
As we know from the information supplied above they have roughly twice the sugars etc that a diploid contains. Stock therefore find them more palatable and once eaten easier to digest than diploids. This palatability also leads to higher voluntary intake by stock. Typically tetraploids have a more open and erect growth habit which make them more clover friendly. Their leaves are larger and darker green and have a greater visual appeal.
What are the disadvantages to tetraploids ?
The visual appeal of tetraploids often lead to growers expectation on total yields of dry matter per hectare, however the fact remains tetraploids tend to have between 10 - 20 % less dry matter per hectare when compare to diploids. Also as they have more sets of chromosomes per cell they have a larger seed size (e.g. in ryegrasses diploids have on average between 500 - 600 seeds per gram while tetraploid ryegrasses have 200 to 300 seeds per gram. Because of this the sowing rate per hectare should be adjusted by 20 - 30 %. As they are more palatable they require better grazing management to avoid overgrazing and with less tiller numbers are generally less persistent than diploids
Where would I use Devour ?
Devour is sown in the autumn between January and June. The earlier you sow it the more grazing you get from it. A typical use for Devour is as follows:
- Sown after a brassica / cereal silage crop / maize
- Then used for winter grazing and then shut up for either more grazing or silage.
Devour is also used extensively in a mix with brassicas. We recommend Devour should be used where you need quick, high quality, cheap and short term green feed.
How much do I need to sow ?
The recommended sowing rate for Devour is 25 kgs per hectare when sown alone and 15 kgs per hectare when used in a mix with brassica. We do not recommend Devour for spring sowings or in a mix with perennial ryegrass seed mixers.