A tricky summer didn’t make way for a simpler autumn, with three of the four weeks in September bringing heavy rain and sticky conditions back around again.

Despite all the rain, it never really cooled down and growth remained steady. In fact, growth was so steady that it remained within the 55kg to 65kg DM/ha per day bracket from late June to mid-September.

All this growth allowed for a large bank of grass to be built coming into the final few rounds, but, as always, building grass is a gamble and the more likely chance of a dry back end didn’t come up trumps.

Housing stock

Heavy rain forced some farmers to house stock in the last two weeks, but with some warmer and more settled conditions over the weekend, farmers should look to getting some of this stock back out again, even if it is only for a few days.

Heavy covers left over the winter on paddocks are a recipe for rot, with the rotting base of the plant leaving an open sward more prone to poaching and weed encroachment.

A certain amount of medium height (1,300kg to 1,400kg DM/ha) covers should be carried over to ensure sufficient grass for the first round in spring, but carrying over anything over 2,000kg DM/ha should be avoided at all costs.

Most farms have some form of light stock at hand, be it weanlings, yearlings or sheep, so even if heavier stock have to remain inside, these lighter sorts should be left out to nip away at these heavier covers and set the farm up for spring 2023.