21 July 1995

Flock grows faster and better on new grass ley reseeds

GRASS leys reseeded last autumn have been boosting lamb performance on one Warwickshire farm this summer.

At 240ha (600-acre) Bagborough Hall Farm , Daven- try, lambs from the 1200-head flock of Scotch halfbreds that have been finished on newly reseeded leys have grown faster and better than those finished on longer established grassland and have commanded a £3 a head premium at Rugby market.

To achieve these above average results about 40% of the 100ha (250 acres) of grassland at the farm is reseeded each autumn with a mixture containing the perennial ryegrass varieties Anaconda, Belramo and Condesa.

This mix gives a spread of heading dates and ensures an early bite in spring, high mid-season production for cuts of hay and silage, with enough grass in the autumn for grazing and post-tupping.

"Our new leys undoubtedly help us to produce good-looking, even lambs which attract top prices," says flock manager Paul Mason.

"They certainly saved our bacon last spring. Despite the cold, dull weather they responded to N and produced more than enough grazing for our needs."

On the other hand the older leys were very slow to get going, holding lambs back," said Mr Mason.

The new reseeds at Bagborough Farm are producing good-looking, even lambs which are consistently achieving the best prices at market.