2023 Northern Victoria Forage Value Index

The Forage Value Index (FVI) is a tool that helps Australian dairy farmers and their advisors to select the highest yielding and most profitable ryegrass varieties for sowing.

forage value index is written over the top of a trial site of ryegrass varieties in northern Victoria

The FVI has been available in Northern Victoria for a few years now and each year, new data from various sites across all of South-East Australia has been added to the FVI further strengthen the reliability of the FVI tables. Data from each site is combined into an aggregated dataset to predict the highest performing varieties in each of the three main ryegrass species – Perennial, Annual and Italian ryegrass. 

How is it calculated?
The FVI value for each variety is calculated by multiplying the Performance Value of each cultivar (i.e. total kilograms dry matter produced per hectare per season) by its Economic Value (i.e. the estimated value of this extra production per season). Performance Values for each variety are determined by industry assessed, independent trial data. To be included in the FVI database, each cultivar must have data from at least three trials that have been conducted using strict industry approved protocols. For Perennial ryegrass, trials must be three years in length, whilst Annual & Italian ryegrass trials must be a minimum of one full growing season. 

Examples of an annual ryegrass PTN trial in spring

How to use it
Once you have decided which species you are sowing (Perennial, Annual or Italian ryegrass), simply look at the Northern Victoria list for that species and select a high performing cultivar. There are also seasonal yield tables available to indicate which cultivars perform best across summer, autumn and winter when pasture production may be of greater value than in spring depending on your farm system, calving pattern etc.
The map below shows the wide range of trials sites that have contributed to this year’s FVI tables across all 3 species. 

Map of trial sites in all species contributing to 2023 FVI

Northern Victoria trials
Data from Northern Victoria has contributed significantly to the FVI over the years. With the increasing focus on short term ryegrasses such as Italians and annuals in the region in recent times, both PTN and Dairy Australia have placed a greater emphasis on generating more trial data from these species under irrigation from several different sites. There is also a push in 2023 to get trials sown earlier than previous years and capture more information on varietal differences in the early establishment phase from Autumn to early winter. Both initiatives will be of particular benefit to Northern Victorian farmers.

In 2023, there will be both an Italian and Annual ryegrass trial sown in Shepparton under irrigation in March. Irrigated Italian ryegrass trials are also planned for sowing in Mt Gambier and the Macalister irrigation district in 2023.

Additionally, farmers using continental Tall Fescue will be able to access a new DA funded PTN trial with 18 Tall Fescue varieties that is finishing in Autumn 2023 in Warrnambool. This trial includes both yield and forage quality information on each variety. It will be publicly available on the PTN website later in 2023 after the trial is fully completed and analysed.

As the volume of data continues to grow, farmers can become more confident in the rankings on the FVI. Furthermore, forage quality information on each variety in perennial ryegrass has been gathered and will be analysed in 2023 with a view to adding this information to the next update of the FVI.

Pasture Trial Network – individual trials
It is also possible to look at the individual trial results that are used to generate the FVI rankings. For example, if you are based in a particular region and wish to look at the individual trial results from a local site, you can do so on the PTN website. Click here for more information. 

To see a copy of the latest Northern Victoria Forage Value Index, click here (where there is a much more comprehensive frequently asked question document available).

You're viewing the Murray Dairy website. To view other regional dairy information, select a region.
Cookies help Dairy Australia improve your website experience. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.