Heavy rain over the weekend for northern and western counties has seen a lot of cattle that had got out to grass rehoused.

There is a distinct difference between the northwest and southeast at the moment with decent grass growth and grazing conditions being experienced in southern areas.

The forecast for the rest of the week is dry for most of the country so farmers can plan to get stock back out to grass in the coming days.

The weather is also much milder this week which will help boost grass growth. However, this boost may be short lived with lower temperatures forecast for early next week. With these changeable conditions, farmers need to be on high alert for any pneumonia issues with some farmers already reporting some problems.

Ideally stock should be nearly finished grazing silage ground at this stage in order to get an early first cut in late-May. Where there is still a large proportion of silage ground to be grazed, farmers will need to make a call whether or not to graze it at this stage. If there are low covers or where ground was grazed into late autumn there may be little advantage from a silage quality point of view from grazing it at this point.

Brian Geraghty, Dysart, Co Roscommon

All stock remained at grass last weekend despite heavy rainfall. They did a slight bit of damage, mainly on Sunday, but it will clean up again after a few days.

Grass growth needs to kick on as over the last few weeks it has been quite low. All ground received either slurry or 23 units of nitrogen/acre in early spring, with another bag of urea/acre spread on the grazing ground last week.

The 36 yearling Angus heifers are at grass over a month at this stage. They were just over 300kg at turnout and they look to have really kicked on over the past fortnight. I also have 100 yearling dairy heifers that I am contract rearing at grass.

  • System: Dairy calf to beef
  • Soil type: Variable
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 605
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 21
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 24
  • Willie Treacy, Hackballscross, Co Louth

    We escaped the worst of the weather last weekend but there were still some heavy showers that caused stock to do some slight damage.

    I was surprised that the ground that was reseeded last year was probably the driest which shows that there is good drainage following reseeding.

    Grass supply on farm is good. There are a couple of heavy covers on the reseeded ground which is bumping up the overall farm cover. I had been minding this ground in early spring to avoid any poaching.

    Silage fertiliser went out last week with the aim of cutting around the last week of May. All the silage ground was grazed before closing.

  • System: Suckler to beef
  • Soil type: Free-draining
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 1,166
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 30
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 29
  • Shaun Diver, Tullamore Farm, Co Offaly

    We have 110 ewes lambed and they are coming thick and fast at this stage. Typically ewes and lambs go to grass 24 hours after lambing but the wet weather from Thursday and throughout the weekend meant we had to hold up stock until Monday.

    There are 57 cows and calves at grass, with more to go out in the coming days. There are just 15 cows left to calve.

    There were 160 acres spread with a half bag of urea earlier in spring. I plan to go again for a second round in the next week or 10 days. Silage ground will be closed by 6 April. This ground has low grass covers as it was grazed over winter by the ewes.

  • System: Suckler to beef
  • Soil type: Variable
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 613
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 35
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 16