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AberNiche Festulolium
Short, Medium & Long Term Ryegrass

AberNiche Festulolium


An interspecies cross (Italian-type ryegrass x meadow fescue) heralding a new range of hybrid grass adapted to a variety of stress conditions, particularly drought.

  • Bred through natural hybridisation to increase stress tolerance including winter hardiness and drought resistance
  • Significantly improved water use efficiency proven in simulated drought trials
  • Can be combined in short term mixes with Italian or hybrid ryegrass
  • For longer term mixes use perennial or hybrid ryegrasses, plus clovers

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Scientific Name
Festulolium braunii

Sowing Rate: 20-25 kg/ha
Blend Rate: 10-15 kg/ha

Only available from UMS!

Plant Characteristics

  • Combines persistent fescue genes with the high-yielding capacity of ryegrass
  • Much better stress resistance (including winter hardiness and drought tolerance) than straight Italian ryegrass
  • A high-end performer whether sown alone or in a mix
  • A tetraploid grass which is very palatable to all stock
  • A proven genetic product from the Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) breeding program
  • Nil endophyte
  • Good disease resistance


A mid-flowering variety designed to produce DM later into the season.
Days to flowering relative to Nui (0) = +12 days

Area of Adaption

  • Medium to high rainfall zones
  • Suitable for irrigation or dryland
  • Not suited to hot, dry climates
  • Cold and frost tolerant


Sow at 20-25kg/ha alone or 10-15kg/ha when a component of a pasture mix. Preferable to sow in warmer soil conditions such as early autumn. Can also provide a spring sowing option to produce summer feed under irrigation or with good rainfall.

Features, Advantages and Benefits

AberNiche heralds the beginning of a range of new grass better adapted to various stress conditions which may become more common as a result of climate change. Festulolium combines the abundant yield, or quality trait, of Italian ryegrass with the persistence and deeper root system of meadow fescue.

AberNiche is very productive and persistent when grown by itself but it can be combined in short term mixes with Italian or hybrid ryegrasses. For a longer term grass-based mix consider including perennial or hybrid ryegrasses, plus white, red and sub clover.

AberNiche gives farmers a pasture option which is adapted to a wider range of soils and rainfall zones than straight Italian ryegrass. AberNiche also provides quality feed and persists longer into summer at the time that feed quality usually falls away.

According to Dr Mike Humphreys of IBERS at Aberystwyth University in Wales, AberNiche shows that the transfer of more stress resistant fescue genes into ryegrasses can be achieved without negatively affecting the yield or quality characteristics of the grass. It should, he says, herald a new generation of hybrids offering some major benefits for the future.

“Increased drought tolerance is a major objective and we have already recorded an improvement in water use efficiency (forage yield/unit of water consumed) in some Festulolium of 88%,” he says.

UMS is the exclusive Australian distributor of AberĀ® High Sugar Grasses.

Aber® is a Registered Trademark of Germinal Holdings Ltd

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