DATA and information on ryegrass varieties is not hard to find.
Most seed companies run their own trials and release their figures year to year.
However, as farmers are all too aware, these companies have vested interests in the information they are providing, and each trial is undertaken under variable conditions.
This makes it very hard to compare data across brands and species.
The Forage Value Index (FVI) tool enables farmers to select ryegrass cultivars that will deliver the best possible pasture based on their location, farming system and forage needs.
The index, launched in 2017, was primarily focussed on perennial rye species, until earlier this year where the annual and Italian indexes were launched.
The project has been a collaborative effort between Dairy Australia, Agriculture Victoria, Australian Seed Federation, Meat and Livestock Australia, and DairyNZ.
The FVI is calculated by multiplying the Performance Value of each cultivar (i.e. total kilograms dry matter produced per hectare per season) and by its Economic Value (i.e. the estimated value of this extra production per season).
Performance Values (PV) are determined by industry assessed trial data.
Economic Values (EV) are determined by economic analysis of ‘case study’ farms in four different dairying regions in south-east Australia.