There are very few farms across the country that do not have a large portion of cattle inside by now, as the incessant rain has just made grazing too difficult to achieve without causing significant poaching.

Rainfall amounts have been well above average in many parts of the country over the past week, with some parts of the south and east experiencing over three times the average.

Southwestern and western coastal fringes experienced closer to average rainfall, while the north-northwest saw rainfall amounts well below normal.

Field conditions are extremely poor, and Met Eireann predict very little drying next week.

Save for those on lighter stocking rates or with extremely dry land, it will be mainly youngstock that will remain at grass.

Spring calving dairy and beef herds will be aiming to have 60-70% of the farm closed by the end of this month, with the remaining grass to be eaten by weanlings or sheep.

For fear of sounding like a broken record, it’s the heavy covers above 1,600lg DM/ha that should be targeted with any remaining stock as these will be too heavy to leave off until next spring.


A gentle reminder on two important dates when it comes to soil fertility; farm yard manure is to be spread by October 31, though a derogation for spreading later in to November is currently being talked about.

Farmers applying for the lime scheme have also reported difficulties in securing receipts from quarries when pre-paying on lime for next spring. Because of this, the closing date for receipt submission of receipts has been extended to midnight on November 7.

The most bang for buck for both lime and farm yard manure will be in fields that require P and K or lime. Hopefully you have soil tests on hand to make efficient use of both.