With the wet summer that we experienced, it was always hoped that the back end of the year would be kind and result in good grass-growing and grazing conditions.

The grass growth came through, with exceptional growth for the time of year seen in September, but someone upstairs left the tap on and left the heavy grass covers sitting in water.

Dry matter of grass is low and the feeding value of it is questionable, with farmers reporting stock to be extremely loose in the dung.

What feeding value remains in the grass can be easily lost as the feed passes through the digestive system too rapidly, resulting in energy being excreted in the dung instead of being retained in the animal.


Supplementation with concentrates will go some way in increasing the dry matter intake of animals, but a small bit of fibre in the form of some straw, hay or strong silage would also do the trick, especially for suckler or dairy cows.

A simple couple of mouthfuls of high-fibre feed can make a huge difference to the animal.

Where ground conditions have deteriorated rapidly and there is still a lot of grass on the farm, the best option may be to house the heavier or less productive stock on the farm, such as dry cows or heifers.

Lighter stock such as calves and sheep will cause less damage and likely have better utilisation results.

Mid-season lambing ewes should be on good-quality swards now in preparation for breeding 2023.

They should take priority over any store lambs left on the farm when it comes to grass quality, with any store lambs being supplemented with concentrates or finished indoors.