Species: Lolium Perenne
Officially listed in: England, Wales & Scotland
Heading dates: England & Wales 1st June, Scotland REE 47
Bred in: Northern Ireland
Most suited to: Any medium - long term ley which will be grazed or cut
Gracehill provides high quality forage from both silage and grazing management and the high early spring growth displayed by Gracehill will require careful management to maximise D value at first cut.
Gracehill has a strong all round disease resistance profile making it a variety than can be used across all regions of England and Wales. Crown rust resistance is 7.9, Drechlera resistance 8.7 and Mildew resistance 8.0.
Being a tetraploid, you should expect an average of 290,000 seeds per kilogram and a slightly more upright growth habit. Gracehill has ground cover scores typical of the tetraploid type and to encourage tillering, will benefit from grazing, particularly in the first 12 months after establishment.
Before official recommendation, Gracehill has been extensively trialled across 17 different site in the United Kingdom and Ireland to gather data on its performance in multiple climatic conditions.
Gracehill was bred in Northern Ireland at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) by the now retired grass breeder David Johnston. The variety was named after a village just west of Ballymena in Country Antrim which was originally founded in 1765 by Moravians.
DESCRIPTION: Dark green, densely or loosely tufted. Folded shoot and leaves.
FLOWERING HEAD: Flattened spike with the spikelets arranged alternately on opposite sides of the stem. The spikelets are stalkless with the narrow, rounded face tting against the stem.
LEAF BLADE: Ribbed on upper surface, smooth and shiny underside. Red at base of stem.
AURICLES & LIGULE: Auricles are usually well developed, up to 1/12 of an inch (2 mm) long, or are sometimes lacking.