While ground conditions had been improving up to this week, a lot of rain over the last few days has delayed turnout on many beef farms.

Speaking to farmers this week, grass supply seems relatively good and cattle would be at grass if ground conditions allowed.

Any plans for cattle being turned out this week have been well and truly put to bed as heavy rainfall or melting snow has undone the previous weeks drying.

Similarly with fertiliser, many farmers have it in the yard but are waiting for soil temperatures to increase significantly enough to spread.

It is hoped that milder weather over the course of next week will see the return of fertiliser spreaders to the fields once again.

Diarmuid Murray

Knockcroghery, Co Roscommon

Calving is in full flow on the dairy side so it is taking priority at the moment. Cows started going out for a few hours’ grazing on Tuesday this week.

On the beef side, we have about 10% of the grazing ground spread with slurry. Ground conditions are decent on the driest parts of the farm. Fertiliser will start to go out next week.

I hope to get out a batch of the lightest yearlings in the coming week to 10 days. I have a pen of 13 that are earmarked for turnout first. The yearlings are currently on good-quality silage and 2kg meal. I will probably continue to feed a kilo of meal for the first few weeks at grass.

System: Dairy calf to beef

Soil type: Variable

Farm cover (kg DM/ha): -

Growth (kg DM/ha/day): -

Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 0

Ger McSweeney

Millstreet, Co Cork

We are playing the waiting game here with the weather. Ground conditions had improved greatly and it allowed us to spread some slurry on the drier ground just to take the pressure off slurry storage.

I was beginning to think about letting out the replacement heifers. However, the last few days have been very wet and we are back to square one. While there is no big supply of grass on the farm there are paddocks fit for grazing. Looking at the forecast it will be into next week before there is a chance of getting stock out.

I have no fertiliser out yet. The ground has been too cold but again I am hoping to get some out next week, weather permitting.

System: Suckler to beef

Soil type: Variable

Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 829

Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 2

Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 0

Declan Marren

THRIVE Farm, Tipperary

Slurry was spread with a dribble bar in mid-January as ground conditions were good. The 140 yearlings were weighed last week in preparation for turnout. The heifers averaged 321kg while the bullocks were 346kg. Performance over winter has been excellent with heifers growing at 1kg/day while the bullocks have done 1.1kg/day on 75DMD silage and 2kg of a 16% ration.

Meal feeding has now ceased in the hope that we can get at least some stock out over the next week to 10 days. Last year, poor conditions delayed turnout until mid-March so we are hoping to bring this forward by a fortnight this year.

System: Suckler to weanling

Soil type: Heavy

Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 675

Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 6

Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 0