Spring 2024 is the spring that keeps bringing rain. Many parts of the country experienced between 10mm and over 20mm of rain over the weekend.

Farmers that have started the second rotation are reporting that ground conditions are very tender and it’s really easy to do damage.

Some farmers have made the decision to revert back to the first rotation paddocks that were closed for silage when ground conditions are really bad as there is less chance of doing damage here, even if it does mean grazing heavier covers.

This is because a lot of the paddocks that were grazed in February and March were badly marked and haven’t had a chance to recover and heal, so are very easy to mark again.

Damaging these paddocks for a second time will likely result in a significant yield hit for the rest of the year.


On other farms cows are still confined to the sheds because conditions are just too bad, regardless first round or second round grazing.

There are no easy solutions for dealing with these conditions. It’s a case of trying to make the best decision on a day-by-day basis.

The chink of light is that the weather is improving and while the coming days won’t be without rain, Met Eireann are very confident of high pressure coming for next weekend.

Don’t be too worried about spreading fertiliser if ground is still very wet. I know most farmers are at least two weeks late for spreading fertiliser on silage ground but there is no point in spreading on saturated soils.

Overall, I am confident that grass growth rates will bounce once ground conditions improve. It may not make up for the poor growth on saturated soils, there will be some compensatory growth.

As soon as conditions allow try and open up grass to cows. It’s past time to take the foot off the brake of grazing by removing strip wires.

This will ramp up production and cow performance in advance of breeding but it can only be done when the risk of damage subsides and every farm will be different in this regard.