Around lunchtime on Monday, there was an almighty downpour here and water was flowing down the road. Six hours later, the sun is belting down, the lane is dry again and looking out the office window all seems OK.

I know when I throw on the wellies it will be different though. Not only did it feel like we got 12 months’ rain in nine months, we actually got it too.

From the start of July 2023, to the end of March this year, 1,170mm of rainfall was recorded on the Met Éireann station on Sherkin Island. The long-term average annual rainfall recorded there is 1,188mm.

Since Friday, the rain has turned more to intermittent showers compared to constant mist or driving rain. Even something like that is a small win. It means the sun is out a bit more and that, combined with wind, is providing a little drying and a lift in the mood too. You know the rain is going to undo it all again but at least it’s allowing grass to grow.

That’s been important here because whether I like it or not, I have to keep a proportion of the cows out. It’s too wet to send them to the outfarm, so the older cows are out in a few small groups to spread the damage.

I even questioned that last Wednesday. They were in a paddock that would be one of the driest here and when I went to check them that evening, I hardly recognised my own field. Weather conditions on Wednesday were appalling, disheartening even.

It may seem mad to have them out but I just don’t want a shed jam packed with stock, especially calves.

The bulls are on a high enough meal diet and only need a certain amount of fibre

That’s only asking for trouble. That was the approach we took in 2013 dealing with that difficult spring and a scour outbreak was the result.

A harsh and expensive lesson that kickstarted a few changes that included moving the calving date to later in the spring.

Grass will recover and a bit of stitching will get any reddened patch back in action when it eventually dries up. Having them in small groups limits the damage.

The cows are smart enough to know where the shelter is and the calves are adept at poking out the best spots.

There’s three groups of cows inside for now.

The first bunch of heifers that calved are on their own and settled so I’ve left them alone. Their calves have a creep area at the back. The last few to calve are alongside them but have a run back to straw while those a while away from calving are confined to slats.

I had been splitting the best-quality silage between the finishing bulls and young cows but that plan changed.

The bulls are on a high enough meal diet and only need a certain amount of fibre. Given some are only a few weeks out from finishing, I don’t want to mess around their diet by putting straw in.

As a result, the better-quality silage is being held for the young cows and they began getting 2kg of ration last week.

Half the replacement heifers are out with the rest and those not going for breeding remain indoors for now, with ration going in to fill the grass gap.

Juggling stock, silage, slurry and plans is the order of the day just like it is on many farms.

It’s just a case of focusing on the short-term plan and adapt accordingly.