Aberystwyth University

New varieties of grass to help the environment

There's science behind that green, green grass we see every day. Science has led to the production of new varieties of high sugar grasses for feeding livestock with huge environmental and economic benefits. Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock have been drastically reduced while at the same time the yield from livestock products has increased, so helping to feed the world’s population.

The research has been carried out at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, which celebrates a 100 years of plant breeding in 2019. Today almost a third of the perennial ryegrass grown by UK farmers comes from seed developed by Aberystwyth University researchers, with varieties including AberMagic, AberDart and AberGreen also used internationally.

The development of these high sugar grasses is just one example of how the university’s scientists are combining fundamental research on plant genetics with plant breeding techniques to develop new commercially viable plant varieties that are designed to tackle the challenges of food, water and energy security facing communities across the world.

Further reading