Ground conditions have improved vastly in most areas over the past 10 days, thanks to the brisk easterly winds.

With temperatures set to settle back to a more typical range over the weekend and into next week, many beef farmers will be thinking of getting the first application of slurry out.

This means there is one final change to take a soil sample prior to slurry being spread.

Soil samples

Soil samples should be done at least every five years.

From both cost and management points of view, it is easier to sample a proportion of the farm every year, rather than leaving all to one year.

Target fields that you know do not have a valid soil test - as in no test in the previous five years - or ground that has been under-productive over the last year or two.

Knowing the soil fertility status of your farm is the first step to growing more grass on your farm.

From the results, a nutrient plan can be drawn up to rectify any deficiencies.

Targeted slurry application

Slurry is a valuable nutrient source on your farm.

While slatted tanks may be starting to come under capacity pressure, it is important that slurry is applied to the fields that need it, not just the fields that are close to the yard and convenient to spread.