If you could use more early spring pasture to feed ewes with lambs at foot, New Zealand’s earliest heading perennial ryegrass is worth a second look this autumn.
Tyson flowers is very early heading (-7 days) and grows nearly 20% more pasture than other leading pasture cultivars during early spring.
That makes it an exciting opportunity for faster, more efficient liveweight gain and feed growth at the start of the season.
A key goal in creating Tyson was to produce a pasture that could help farmers finish more lambs, sooner.
Extra pasture cover at lambing makes it easier to feed both ewes and lambs better before weaning, so more lambs reach target weights in time to be drafted off mum. Lambs grow faster on a diet of milk and pasture than at any other time of their lives.
Early lamb drafts usually coincide with stronger schedule prices, the weaning check is avoided (and with it up to two weeks’ lost lamb liveweight gain), and extra feed can be freed up for other stock.
Tyson is particularly suited to farm systems which need to maximise pasture yield and animal growth in spring, before the start of a possibly dry summer puts pressure on feed.
While Tyson has the genetic potential to outgrow any other perennial ryegrass in early spring, capturing its full advantage depends on the right management. The old saying ‘grass grows grass’ is a good way to sum up what’s needed.
Like any pasture, it should be set stocked at the recommended minimum cover of 1500 kg DM/ha (or 4 cm) through lambing. Otherwise it won’t have the leaves to capture enough sunlight to grow to its full potential.
Tyson is available with AR1 endophyte.