Temperate productive grasslands are often located in areas of high rainfall prone to flooding, but even here moderate summer droughts occur with regularity causing significant yield reductions. Grasslands capable of resisting both water excess and deficit are required. Alternative breeding technologies are employed to combine as Festulolium cultivars the desirable traits of Lolium and Festuca species, and also through their enhanced root systems, improve soil structures and hydrology. An amphiploid L. perenne - F. pratensis cultivar can significantly reduce rainfall runoff compared to either its parental species. Evidence would indicate this was due to an initial intensive root growth followed by extensive root senescence. This would likely alter soil structure and increase soil porosity and moisture retention providing an ecosystem service by both combating run-off subsequent to heavy rainfall and increasing soil water supply during dry periods. In an alternative programme aimed at improving drought resistance in Lolium, genes for drought resistance were transferred from Festuca arundinacea var glaucescens. These significantly increased water-use-efficiency and forage yield of Lolium under soil water deficit conditions with no compromise to forage quality.