Talking to dairy farmers over the last few days, most are saying that while they have plenty of grass available, it’s just too wet to graze it.

Those on dry land are still stealing a grazing or two when they can, usually by day only, but for most farmers it’s a case of full-time housing and full winter diets.

This then poses the question of what to do with all the grass that is out on farms and just can’t be grazed.


Youngstock will probably do less damage, but, then again, they don’t have the same grazing pressure and so spend longer trying to get through areas.

Youngstock also tend to do more damage during heavy rain because they tend to do more walking, unlike cows who will normally stand under shelter during heavy rain.

Carrying over too much grass won’t be good for grass quality next spring or for clover contents next summer either.

However, if the alternative is to do damage, then all you can do is keep cows in and leave the grass where it is.

There will surely be an opportunity to get this grass grazed later in the year.


Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but a shot of cold and dry weather in late November or early December could present an opportunity to get some of these high covers grazed off with minimal damage.

At that time of the year, it may not be grazed with milking cows, but it’s still better to get high covers grazed off rather than have them decaying over the winter, leading to a lot of dead and senescent material next spring.

Farmers have been in this position before and while grazing good grass with dry cows is far from optimum, it is still better than the alternatives of either doing damage now or having a lot of decaying grass and covers that are too high next spring.