When the growing gets tough,
the tough get growing

Climate change is affecting grass performance. In many parts of the world, it is becoming harder to achieve the results expected from successful high-yielding varieties. 

The effects of climate change are direct and indirect. Direct effects, such as lower rainfall and extended periods of drought, reduce yield and introduce salt stress through an accumulation of soil minerals. Indirect effects include the way that rising temperatures enable insects to extend their season of devastating attacks.

At DLF, we are working ever harder to develop new ways to overcome these challenges. One technique is genomic selection, which helps us maximise breeding gains for stress tolerance.

Another sophisticated technique lets us screen for special traits such as root depth, root volume, and root responses to drought. In combination, these tools give us the ability to select new varieties for improved root dept and drought tolerance by simple DNS tests.

Forage for tough conditions

DLF already have a great portfolio of varieties with superior salt tolerance. Many of these varieties are also drought-tolerant, which makes them ideal components for mixtures for tough conditions.

For areas impacted by insect attacks, we have armed our top-performing varieties with a weapon straight from nature: endophytes. Endophytes are grasses natural defense against insects in the nature. The endophytes selected by DLF produce alkaloids that are toxic or repellant to many insects but not to animals. 

Through years of selection, chemical characterization, and inoculation, we have created a range of animal-friendly forage grasses that are insect resistant preserving high yield. Our insect-resistant range currently includes perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, and meadow fescue.

Forage for tough conditions