Growing great lambs is one thing. Doing it quickly can be another story.
But the numbers don’t lie. The sooner your lambs reach target weights, the better, for you and your animals alike.
Fast LWG means a higher dollar return on every mouthful of grass and more meat per ha.
It also means increased flexibility in how you use the feed available after lambs are finished early.
One way to reach this sweet spot is to find room in your farm system for high-energy hybrid or Italian ryegrass, like Forge, Shogun or Tabu+.
Sown with clover, their key benefits are that they grow significantly more feed than perennials in early spring, and taste delicious.
Having ample grass on hand from the time ewes lamb sets up a cascade of improved outcomes.
That’s because this is the key feed shortage period for southern systems.
With more feed in early spring, ewes are better nourished, so they produce more milk. More milk leads to higher lamb survival rates and faster growth when lambs are most efficient at converting feed to liveweight gain, from birth to weaning.
Lambs finished off mum never get a growth check and their dressing out percentage is higher.
Finished earlier, they typically fetch a higher price; they don’t need to be drenched, or dipped, and they free up pasture for uses such as growing out better ewe replacements or cattle trading.
It is this cascade of effects across the whole system that creates such a positive impact on farm returns.
Forge and Shogun are both tetraploid ryegrasses, which animals love because of their soft stems, high sugar content and clover compatibility, legumes being a proven driver of improved animal performance.
Forge is a new, longer-lasting hybrid, for farmers who want a three to five year pasture. Shogun is ideal as a two to three year option, and Tabu+ Italian ryegrass can be slotted into the system as a one to two year pasture.
A great way to utilise them in your system is before or after winter crop. It all comes down to which suits your farm, and your rotation, best
Between them, they offer a lot of flexibility, improved cool season growth and quality.
Seed for Forge, Shogun and Tabu+ is available for spring sowing now.