Sustainable perennial pastures in Northland


  • G.R. Ussher
  • D.E. Hume



In the northern half of Northland, perennial ryegrassbased pastures have exhibited poor persistence. Nineteen tall fescue and ryegrass pastures in the region infected with either MaxP or AR37 fungal endophytes, respectively, had high levels of endophyte-infected tillers and low levels of contamination from wild endophytes. On surveyed farms, MaxP-infected tall fescue pastures had good contents of sown grass, which were higher than sown grass contents in AR37-infected ryegrass pastures, but on two far-north monitor farms these temperate grasses failed to compete with summer active C4 grasses such as kikuyu and carpet grass. For tall fescue and perennial ryegrass to form productive pastures in this region, sown seed should have high levels of viable endophyte, soil fertility should be adequate for good grass and legume growth, and pastures should be well managed. Summer droughts may still be too severe in some years for these temperate grasses to persist in the face of C4 grass competition. Keywords: Endophyte, Epichloë, Neotyphodium, Lolium perenne, Festuca arundinacea, soil fertility


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How to Cite

Ussher, G., & Hume, D. (2015). Sustainable perennial pastures in Northland. Journal of New Zealand Grasslands, 77, 141–146.



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