Persist Orchardgrass

Persistence Research

Research in Tennessee

Some of the most significant data has come from a persistence study conducted at the Ames Plantation in SW Tennessee where a comparison grazing study was conducted with Persist and a well-known orchardgrass. Both varieties were planted in separate pastures, with and without clover.


After an intense drought and stressed period in 1999, two years after the began, there was a dramatic difference in the performance of the two cultivars. The other variety simply could not handle or recover from the stress. Persist, on the other hand, continued to not only survive, but to provide good, healthy stands of grass, even when the clover died out in the third year.


The following are the recorded observations of the University of Tennessee research team:

Spring 1997

All pastures seeded in pure stand of orchardgrass are well established, with no visible difference with regard to variety. The grass is too tall and the stands too thick to make quantitative estimates. All the orchardgrass-clover mix pastures have about the same grass-clover ratio.Spring 1998 - The orchardgrass-clover pastures have about 50:50 ratio of grass-clover. Pure orchardgrass pastures appears to be equal.

Summer 1999

One of the Persist-clover and one of the other variety/clover pastures has a decrease in clover to about 30%. The clover in one of the Persist pastures has increased to about 60%.

Fall 1999

All pastures show drought stress. Pastures with clover appear better than those with orchardgrass as a pure stand. Pastures with Persist in a pure stand are superior to those with the other variety in a pure stand.

Spring 2000

Persist pastures in pure stand have a good stand of grass. The other variety pastures in pure stand are thin and have little available grass. The other variety pastures with clover have a loss of grass. The grass in these pastures appear stressed and are not as green as those with Persist.

Fall 2000

Clover has been lost in all pastures that were originally seeded with clovers. Orchardgrass stands are approximately 70-80% in Persist Pastures seeded without clover and 0-10% in the other variety's pastures seeded without clover.

Spring 2001

Stands of Persist in pastures seeded without clover is about 80%. The stands of the other variety (also seeded without clover) are less than 10%.

Research in Canada

New Data! In 2007 Persist was planted at 5 trial sites throughout Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island on the far east side of Canada. Using a series of statistical calculations, the researchers evaluated Persist and the other entries to determine persistence. The value generated from these calculations is then used to help determine if the entered varieties would be approved for sale in Canada. It is also a measurement they use to compare varieties to one another, even if they were tested in different years.


Not only did Persist pass the test with flying colors and is now approved for sale in Canada, but Persist's "Percent Persistence" score is now the HIGHEST of all the US commercial varieties entered in their trials since 1990, and superseded only by a Swedish variety. Not bad for a Tennessee bred orchardgrass, eh?

Persistence Cumulative Scores
Orchardgrasses seeded from 1990-2011
Variety Persistence Score
Dactus 7.1
Persist 6.3
Niva 5.6
Frode 5
Okay 2.8
Kay 0.4
Crown Royale -1.4
Okamidor -2.2
Jay -2.3
Baridana -3.2
AC Nordic -3.8
AC Splendor -3.8
Lidacta -7.5
Artic -8.9
Intensiv -9.3
Glorus -13.5

Research in Kentucky

Persist was planted in 2004 in Princeton, KY under a "hay-style" management trial. No significant difference was detected in most of the varieties' persistence until after the drought of '07. All varieties saw the effect of the drought, as measured in the stand percentage ratings in October of '07. This data speaks of the value of Persist, even under a non-grazing regime.

Drought Data
Princeton, KY - Oct 2007
Variety Percent Stand
Persist 65%
Shiloh II 58%
KYDG9801 55%
KYDG9303 53%
Ambassador 48%
94-100 48%
KYDG0101 45%
ECF27 45%
Extend 43%
Hallmark 43%
Command 12%
LG-21 7%
"I cut my plot this past Memorial Day weekend & 5 acres made 51 rolls 5x4 in size. Persist is the only Orchard grass for me, planted it in the Fall of 07, worst drought here in 30 yrs during the summer of 08, Persist suffered from lack of water but held the stand well & now is producing awesome hay for me. I am sold on it! I won't ever sow anything else."
TV, Rockwood, TN Read more drought testimonals...