Specialist grass seed breeder Barenbrug has established its own UK amenity research site at Cropvale in Worcestershire.
Barenbrug already operates an extensive UK trials programme in conjunction with the STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute), backed up by global trials conducted by the Royal Barenbrug Group. However, this new site will strengthen Barenbrug's ability to test new and innovative cultivars specific to UK conditions as well as respond to market and climatic requirements more quickly.
Sowing on the 15-acre site will commence in spring this year, with the synergy of mixtures being one of the key areas for study, as Jayne Leyland, Barenbrug UK's research and development manager explains: "The expansion of our UK trials programme into our own dedicated research site is an important development for us. Cropvale will demonstrate first-hand the synergy of mixtures that include both new, existing and 'in-development' cultivars, furthering our understanding of effective grass seed blending."
One of Cropvale's first visitors was Lian van Kruijssen, the plant breeder responsible for new cultivar Bargreen II, a Chewings fescue boasting unrivalled shoot density and disease tolerance. Lian says that this new trials site will help her and her fellow breeders further develop such desirable characteristics in future cultivars.
"Britain's unpredictable weather patterns mean improved disease tolerance is of increasing importance to today's turf professionals," Lian comments. "The new trials facilities at Cropvale will therefore be invaluable in helping us identify cultivars tolerant to disease and to test them here in a British climate."