Steps taken on farms over the coming weeks will determine the level of forage available in farmyards when stock return to sheds next autumn. One of the key decisions to be made is the application of organic and chemical fertilisers to grassland in order to maximise growth rates during the key April to May period, during which approximately 30% of grass is grown in a typical year.

But with an almost trebling of fertiliser prices over the past 12 months, farmers are rightly assessing their options. There is no doubt that – even at the inflated prices – purchasing chemical fertiliser to grow grass or alternative forage crops remains one of the most cost-effective ways to meet the fodder demands.