The excellent conditions experienced throughout February have been replaced with March showers and cold conditions.

Those with significant numbers at grass have either had to keep stock moving to fresh ground every 24 to 48 hours or some have bit the bullet and rehoused at least some numbers.

If damage is being done and you are not able to achieve an adequate graze out, then stock are probably best back in the shed. There is no point in doing significant poaching in an attempt to graze off a certain proportion of the farm by the end of the month.

Once ground gets a day or two without consistent rainfall stock can start to make their way back outside.

Grass growth seems to be decent on ground carrying a bit of a cover or on areas that have received slurry.

Areas of the farm that have been grazed over the past three weeks are very slow to recover, although with milder conditions forecast in the coming days this is likely to change.


Willie Treacy – Hackballscross, Co Louth

I have 90% of stock rehoused at this stage. The first of them went back in last Thurday, and on Saturday the rest of what was close to the yard were housed.

The only few that are left out are away from the sheds. I am glad that the majority are back in, we had over 40mm rainfall over the weekend and the ground is soft.

I probably have around 55% of the farm grazed at the moment, so we’re not doing too bad.

I was getting on well with the silage ground so it’s my hope that I can get stock out again next week and get it finished off over the next 10 days and close up for first cut.

System Suckler to beef

Soil type Free draining

Farm cover (kg DM/ha) -

Growth (kg DM/ha/day) -

Demand (kg DM/ha/day) -

Declan Marren – THRIVE Farm, Co Tipperary

About 40% of the farm is grazed at this stage. The rain over the weekend and into this week has only served to make things more difficult.

Heavy rainfall over Sunday night meant that groups had to move to fresh grazing on Monday to avoid excessive poaching.

The 75 heifers remain at grass as well as 13 bullocks. It is hoped that the remaining bullocks will start to move outside in the next week.

No fertiliser has been spread to-date, but the ground that received slurry is growing well.

Any ground that has a cover of grass is growing well, regrowths are greening up but slow to recover.

System Dairy calf to beef

Soil type Mostly dry

Farm cover (kg DM/ha) 1,037

Growth (kg DM/ha/day) 19

Demand (kg DM/ha/day) 15

Shaun Diver – Tullamore Farm, Co Offaly

Things have gotten very wet over the past week. The 21 cows with their calves remain at grass and are getting on ok.

I am moving stock maybe 24 hours sooner than I would like, but I am hoping that it will result in better cleanouts in the second rotation.

The 15 yearling heifers are currently grazing some heavier swards (1,600kgDM/ha) and not doing a great job on them.

I didn’t want to put the cows in on these as they would tramp the grass into the ground.

I try to keep the cows on covers of 1,000kgDM/ha to 1,100kgDM/ha and keep them moving often at this time of year.

System Suckler to beef

Soil type Variable

Farm cover (kg DM/ha) 812

Growth (kg DM/ha/day) 18

Demand (kg DM/ha/day) 12