Temperatures are set to rise in the days ahead, exceeding 20C at the start of the incoming week.

Warm weather will see grass growth increasing, building covers ahead of stock and taking the pressure off grazing.

To help get grazing back on track, outlined are five management tasks to complete over the coming days.

1. Grazing out paddocks

As ground dries up, it will be easier to hold cattle in paddocks to clean out covers as tight as possible, improving sward quality in the next rotation.

Splitting paddocks into smaller grazing allocations can help with clean-out, as it concentrates stock on to a smaller area for 24 to 48 hours.

Animals should be more settled when grazing lower covers in warm, dry conditions and less prone to breaking through temporary electric fences to fresh grass.

2. Strip grazing

An alternative option to improve grass utilisation and sward clean-out is to strip-graze animals for a short period.

Again, warmer weather will improve ground conditions, making strip grazing a possibility, as there is less risk of poaching. Just be sure to give cattle an adequate grazing allocation.

Moving the wire morning and evening will maximise utilisation, but is time consuming. Moving the wire every morning or at the same time every 24 hours may be more practical.

3. Topping rejected grass

There is only so much stemmy, headed-out grass that cattle will eat. So topping will be necessary, particularly on farms with lower stocking rates.

When topping, the aim should be to cut grass down to 4cm to replicate animals grazing and leave a cleaner residual for regrowth.

If there are a lot of clippings after topping, there is merit in running cattle back into a paddock for 24 hours to clean up.

The only time to avoid topping is when there is a lot ragwort in a paddock. Once cut, ragwort becomes palatable to cattle, but it remains extremely poisonous.

4. Fertiliser

If there is no rain forecast for the week ahead, there is little point in spreading fertiliser, as it is likely to lie on the soil surface undissolved.

But if there are some light rain showers, spreading 25 to 30 units/acre of nitrogen will drive grass growth as temperatures increase.

5. Weed control

Where fields have been closed off for second silage and weeds such as docks have started to regrow, aim to spray with a herbicide this week.

Weeds are much easier to kill when they are young and immature. There will also be less of a growth check in terms of grass growth after chemical applications.

As grass covers start to build and the grazing rotation increases back up to 21 days, there should be adequate time to target weeds in grazing paddocks.