Heavy rain over Tuesday night and Wednesday has slowed the grazing progress in many instances this week.

While ground conditions had been improving and cattle had been getting out to grass in greater numbers over the past week or so, the mid-week rain has halted any further turnout and even seen some stock rehoused.

Where cattle are at grass target the driest parts of the farm for the coming days as the forecast looks unsettled right into the weekend.

Keep grazing groups small in order to reduce the grazing pressure. When weather is catchy, you will need to move cattle to fresh grass more often to avoid damage and graze outs may suffer as a consequence. This is nothing to worry about over a short period of time.

Where conditions are poor and damage is excessive, it may be best to rehouse cattle for a few days until the weather settles once again.

Ger McSweeney – Millstreet, Co Cork

All the yearling heifers are at grass at this stage in two grazing groups. Graze outs had been excellent up until Wednesday, with heavy rain over Tuesday night making some of the wetter type ground greasy on top.

I housed the group that were on a wetter paddock on Wednesday morning for a day or two until the weather settles again. I’m hoping that the group that is on the drier part of the farm can remain at grass.

No cows and calves have gone to grass yet, I hope that by the middle of next week I can start to let at least some out. Calves have received their clostridial vaccine in preparation for turnout.

  • System: Suckler to beef
  • Soil type: Variable
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 738
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 5
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 4
  • Declan Marren – Thrive Farm, Cashel, Co Tipperary

    Seventy-seven heifers went to grass in two groups this week on to covers of 1,200kgDM/ha. Ground conditions had been improving greatly but heavy rain over Tuesday night did see cattle do some surface damage.

    There seems to be a good bit of rain forecast for the rest of the week and over the weekend so the plan is to divide them into three groups to reduce the stocking rate in the paddock.

    Depending on what rain actually falls, there is the option to bring them back in for a night or two if required.

    If the weather settles next week the plan is to get the bullocks out to grass in three batches of 25.

  • System: Dairy calf to beef
  • Soil type: Variable
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 1,021
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 13
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 12
  • Niall O’Meara – Killimor, Co Galway

    At the moment I am letting cattle out by day and in at night. I have 55% of the farm grazed at this stage so I need to slow up in order to have sufficient grass by 1 April.

    I have enough silage in the yard for another month so I am happy to do this for now. The calves can remain at grass overnight if they wish. They also have access to a straw-bedded pen. No cows went out on Tuesday or Wednesday due to heavy rainfall.

    Slurry has been spread on 16 paddocks, 35% of the farm at a rate of 1,500gals/acre while 25 paddocks have received 20 units of protected urea plus sulphur.

  • System: Suckler to weanling
  • Soil type: Heavy
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 400
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 18
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 21