Arnie is a late maturing diploid annual ryegrass selected for strong early yield, good spring growth and rust resistance. It is densely tillered with fine leaves and an upright growth habit. Arnie has undergone more than 6 years of evaluation in Australia and has proven to be highly adaptable across a diverse range of environments. It has shown fast establishment and strong winter, late spring and total yields in trials throughout Victoria, New South Wales and South East Queensland.
Arnie has fine leaves and has an erect growth habit and is densely tillered for an annual ryegrass. Due to the high tiller density and high dry matter content typical of diploid varieties, Arnie will offer more available feed at the same growth height than other varieties, especially tetraploid varieties which have lower dry matter content and a more open sward.
Arnie is late flowering for an annual ryegrass with head emergence approximately 17 days later than Griffi n, 7 days later than Maximus, 3 days later than Winter Star II, and 1 day later than Pronto. This late maturity is key to Arnie’s late spring production and quality.
Arnie has shown similar levels of rust resistance to other commercially available varieties in screening at Gatton. It should be remembered that this screening is conducted under extremely high rust load in conditions that promote rust infection.
Despite the belief that tetraploid ryegrasses have higher feed quality than diploids, there is minimal difference in perennial ryegrasses and no difference in short term ryegrasses. This was evident when comparing Hulk to tetraploid varieties such as Feast II and is also the case with Arnie compared to tetraploid annuals such as Winter Star II. Note that Arnie maintains high feed quality into late spring despite it’s upright growth habit.
High winter and late spring production - Being a late season annual, Arnie combines excellent winter production with strong late spring growth. While Winter Star II is popular due to good late season performance, it is behind other annuals in winter growth, the key period of production for an annual ryegrass. Arnie has consistently been at or near the top of trials for winter production and is able to match Winter Star II for late spring growth. However, if late season production is more important than winter growth, an Italian ryegrass such as Hulk will be a better option than annual ryegrass.
Upright growth in late spring for easier hay or silage – Arnie has an erect, densely tillered growth habit meaning that it will hold it’s leaves off the ground better as yield builds in spring, making silage and hay production easier. Diploid varieties are also less prone to lodging than tetraploids.
Feed quality equal to tetraploids – While tetraploid varieties are promoted as having better feed quality than diploids, in reality there is very little difference when considering short term ryegrasses. In fact feed test results taken at Howlong in early and late spring have shown Arnie to have better feed quality (lower NDF and higher ME) than tetraploid varieties.
Low sowing rate = lower seed cost - As Arnie is a diploid variety it has smaller seeds than tetraploid annuals so a lower sowing rate will result in the desired plant density. Where tetraploid varieties should be sown at 30 kg/ha, Arnie can be sown at 20 kg/ha resulting in a lower seed cost per hectare e.g.at a seed price of $4/kg a tetraploid will cost $120/ha while Arnie will cost only $80/ha to sow the same number of seeds.
Wide adaptation – Arnie has been evaluated in Australia for over 6 years (since 2004) and at wide a range of locations including Howlong, Western Districts, Gippsland, Goulburn Valley, North Coast NSW, Tamworth, Dubbo, Hunter Valley, Gatton and Western Australia. It is well adapted across a wide range of environments and seasonal conditions, and as a result can be relied upon despite seasonal, regional or farm to farm variability.