Award is an early maturing but very productive ryegrass with the persistence of traditional Victorian germplasm. It was bred specifically for the Australian cattle and sheep market.
Award is an early-flowering variety which is slightly later than traditional Victorian types.
Days to flowering relative to Nui (0) = -8
500,000-600,000 seeds per kg
(Source: Pasture Varieties used in NSW 2006-2007, Bev Zurbo, 2006)
Award is well adapted to a wide range of fertility levels and soil profiles, but peforms best in a well-drained loam. Diploid perennials will cope with short-term water-logging provided the growing tip is above water. To maximise stand productivity, soil testing is advisable. Analyse soil and neutralise deficiencies with fertiliser and/or lime.
Good base rates of phosphorus are necessary for maximum DM production especially during establishment phase. DM production is directly related to nitrogen availability. Consult your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist or fertiliser advisor for nitrogen application rates.
Sow at 20-25kg/ha alone or 5-15kg/ha when a component of a pasture blend. Sow seed no deeper than 1cm in a fine but firm seed bed. Sow into bared ground if direct drilling. Lightly harrow and roll to improve germination. Suitable for oversowing into an established stand. Pasture productivity is directly related to successful plant establishment.
During emergence it is essential to monitor regularly for damage from insects such as RLEM and lucerne flea, and spray as required. Inspect during early stand life for populations of black-headed cockchafer and slugs. Contact your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist for spray application rates.
Award seedlings germinate quickly and are very competitive once established. Always use a knockdown herbicide to ensure you are sowing into a clean seedbed. Monitor for post-emergent weeds and spray as required. Use options such as spray-grazing for broadleaf weeds.
Do not graze Award until the plant is well anchored and root depth is established. Carry out a quick in-paddock ‘grab test’ by hand to ensure stock cannot pull plants out of the ground. Award should be rotationally grazed to maintain 2-3 leaves per tiller. If the stand is allowed to grow beyond the three-leaf stage, it may run to head earlier and there will be a proportional reduction in quality and productivity.
Remove dry residues from established stands during autumn to encourage new tillers. Reduce stocking rates during late spring to encourage seed set and provide summer feed. Perennial ryegrass should be rested if temperatures exceed 30 ̊C to reduce plant stress. Award requires rotational grazing for persistence, high yields and to maintain nutritional quality.
Diploid perennials provide good winter production. Award is an excellent base for any perennial pasture providing reliable DM production.
To optimise livestock weight gain and health, ensure livestock are vaccinated and drenched. To prevent nutritional problems, make gradual diet changes when introducing hungry stock to lush pastures.
Award contains some levels of wild endophyte and like any perennial ryegrass care must be taken grazing a short pick or mature seed heads. The high risk period is from late summer through to early autumn. Contact an Upper Murray Seeds agronomist for more information.