Good drying conditions over the past week, with warmer temperatures and longer days, have resulted in a lift in soil temperatures and, consequently, grass growth.

Average growth across the country was 18kg DM/ha for the week previous, with higher growths seen in the south and southeast.

Milder and drier conditions experienced in the western half of the country in the past few days should see growth catch up to this.

Many farmers should be starting their second rotation this weekend (1 April), but for the majority who normally would do, the start of the second round has been pushed out owing to poor grazing conditions in mid-March.

Assess covers

What farmers will need to do now is assess covers on the first grazed paddocks.

Farmers are indicating that covers on these are running at 1,000kg to 1,200kg DM/ha for the most part.

This figure is fine, provided that the second round will be started in the next week or so.

For farms where the second round is not due to start until mid-April due to a large percentage of the first round still to be grazed, this will cause an immediate headache, as these paddocks will be gone ahead of target and will be lower in quality and energy.

Farmers need to decide soon if the final few paddocks in the first round should be skipped or not.