Forage Value Index

Australian dairy farmers invest more than $100 million renovating pastures each year. Perennial ryegrass accounts for almost 80 per cent of this. Until now, there has been no easy way of assessing the agronomic performance or potential economic benefit of different cultivars for use in dairy production.

The Forage Value Index (FVI) is a rating system that helps Australian dairy producers and their advisors to make more informed decisions when selecting perennial ryegrass cultivars. It provides an accurate, reliable and independent assessment of the potential economic value of perennial ryegrass cultivars in different dairy regions of south-east Australia. The selection of better performing cultivars will help to increase pasture productivity at key times of the year and ultimately, farm profitability.

The FVI is based on independently-calculated Performance Values (PV) for seasonal dry matter production and Economic Values (EV). PVs are determined by trial data from the Pasture Variety Trial Network (PVTN), supplemented by data supplied by plant breeding companies that meet eligibility criteria. EVs are determined by economic analysis of ‘case study’ farms in four different dairying regions in south-east Australia.

The FVI for each cultivar is expressed using a colour coding system, with the green colour representing the best performing cultivars in each region. The FVI tool ranks cultivars according to their colour coding and user-nominated attributes (e.g. seasonal production, ploidy, heading date, and endophyte). Only cultivars listed in the Pasture Seed Database and confirmed as a “variety” by the Australian Seed Federation are used in the FVI.

Video - Introduction to the Forage Value Index

This short video discusses the potential benefits of using the FVI when making cultivar selection decisions. 

Audio - FVI explained

More information:

Forage Value Index - A new tool to help you select the best perennial ryegrass cultivars for your dairy farm (PDF, 892KB)
Forage Value Index - Frequently asked questions (PDF, 1.14MB)