The Met Eireann agricultural data report for the week gone by reads exactly how you would expect it to; rainfall of anywhere from an inch to three inches and sunshine below normal.

Some of the brighter and more settled spells this week saw mowers hit fields to get some second cut (or late first cuts) underway.

Trafficability is fine for the most part from talking to farmers, though some wouldn’t dream of letting anything more than a tractor and fertiliser spreader past a gateway, such is the poor ground conditions that those on heavy soils or low-lying fields are experiencing.

West of the Shannon

It’s much the same as earlier in the year with the country divided by the Shannon, and with those west of it having seen ample rain and in desperate need of sunshine and drying, while those to the east reporting an increase of growth, as soil moisture deficits have finally gone away.

There are not many in serious trouble having to resort to housing stock again, as nearly all farms will have a portion of dry ground that they can revert to.

Growth is also strong, though still lagging behind normal for the time of year.

Where you are faced with a serious grazing condition issue, it’s best to revert to spring/autumn management and offer 12-hour breaks and back-fencing grazed ground.

Autumn rotation

The summer seems to have flown by, and in only a few short weeks we will be looking towards building covers for the autumn rotation.

There’s probably only one round of grazing left between now and then, so any correction work for quality really needs to be done ASAP.

This doesn’t mean semi-ploughing a field by trying to get it baled off, but where the opportunity to top or bale presents itself, even in the short windows of weather that we are experiencing, try to get a mower in to fields.