The best results come from matching species and cultivar to the farm system, climate, soils and pests. Consider animal performance, persistency requirements and the environment when selecting.
While perennial ryegrass and white clover are the cornerstone of dairy pastures, several other species play an important role in different circumstances.
Cultivar Selector Tool
Updated: 02 April 2014
Select the ryegrass best suited to your region and farming system with the Cultivar Selector. This tool uses data from the Forage Value Index (FVI).
Ryegrass is the most widely sown pasture species in New Zealand. Select the ryegrass best suited to your region and farming system with the Cultivar Selector.
An endophyte is a naturally occurring fungus that is found in ryegrass and tall fescue pastures. Endophytes are essential for persistence in most New Zealand pasture as it protects the plant from insect attack.
Clover is a high-quality feed. There are a number of clover species available with white clover and red clover the most commonly used.
Plantain is highly palatable to animals, establishes rapidly, is pest tolerant and has a high mineral content.
A short-lived leafy herb with high feed value, chicory can be incorporated into a rotational grazing system through its active growing months.
Cocksfoot is the most persistent pasture grass, and is tolerant of dry conditions and most insects, but typically lower in feed value than ryegrass.
Tall fescue is an alternative to perennial ryegrass, particularly where summer growth is limited by high soil temperatures, or where perennial ryegrass persistence is an issue.
Kikuyu is a subtropical grass which is well established in pasture throughout the North Island of New Zealand.