Grass: Grass is in plentiful supply, especially in the south of the country. However, grazing conditions are more difficult in the north and northwest after a lot of rain in the last three weeks. This presents challenges and has left things tight on farms that haven’t managed to get all silage cut yet. It has left a conundrum around heavy covers. Many in this situation will have to graze them, as it’s too wet to bring in heavy machinery to bale the extra grass. Topping will be necessary in this case and sometimes topping on the last day of grazing will help get the paddock cleaned up again, as cows will graze some of the cuttings or aftermath. If the situation is very bad, autumn-calving cows could be weaned and housed for a week or two until conditions improve.

Under-16 month bulls: The bull market is a difficult one at the moment. I’ve had a few calls from farmers wondering whether to hold off killing for a few weeks to see if things improve. The problem is going over the age limit and off the grid could mean a €0.30/kg penalty along with a poor price. The other factor is if a bull is laying down fat at the end of an intensive finishing period, then the margin they are leaving is reducing. Bulls are expensive to feed and should be slaughtered the minute you think they are ready.