Speaking to farmers in the last few days in the northwest and west, they don’t want the sunny weather to end just yet.
However, farmers in the midlands, north and east will be glad to see the rain coming and will be hoping for plenty of it, once it knows when to stop.
Generally speaking, it’s easier to manage a drought compared to wet weather, but it’s still costly and time-consuming and over the last week we have seen many dairy and beef farmers increase meal feeding rates and some even had to feed silage.
So, in these cases, the rain will be welcome. Effectively, farms with a soil moisture deficit of 50mm to 60mm will need 20mm to 30mm to bring moisture levels back to normal.
This level of rainfall is forecast over the next 10 days or so. Whether it comes or not remains to be seen.
Farms with a soil moisture deficit of 50mm to 60mm will need 20mm to 30mm to bring moisture levels back to normal
The grass cover situation won’t change overnight and farmers with low covers will have to continue to supplement well into next week.
In fact, supplementing after the rain comes is often the best time to use supplement as you need average farm cover to recover before taking the foot off the pedal.
Average farm cover would need to be above 160kg/cow and growth higher than demand before supplements should be eased.
Average farm cover should also be greater than 500kg/ha before supplement should be eased.
How quickly supplement can be eased will depend on how low average farm cover is.