MANTA, a new fast-establishing Italian ryegrass, has been released to give farmers a step up in pasture production through new genetics in 2022.
Manta was developed for strong pasture growth and high yields in its first year and is ideal for dairy farms, hay and silage production or sheep and beef operations where farmers are looking to generate one big year of growth.
Marty Toohey, seed production agronomist for DLF Seeds in Tasmania, saw Manta’s explosive growth at three properties contracted to produce seed for 2022.
“Manta is certainly very quick to establish and grows well through winter, but it really took off in mid-spring,” he said.
“I’ve seen it go from being grazed to 25mm in mid-to-late October to being 45cm high three weeks later.”
One of his contract growers from the Cressy district, Tim Scott-Young (right), said Manta provided a lot of grazing for his family’s sheep stud and mixed cropping operation.
They sowed 35ha and were happy with its establishment.
The Manta paddock was initially stocked with 340 Coopworth ewes for lambing in July and August, but by lamb marking at the start of September this was nearly tripled to 900 ewes, plus all their lambs, just to keep the growth under control.
“Manta is leaps and bounds ahead of Knight,” Mr Scott-Young said.
“The speed of its growth coming out of winter is amazing.”
Hamish Best, national product development manager for DLF Seeds, said Manta returned to vegetative production after its reproductive phase, making it a very long season Italian ryegrass.