Damien O’Brien farms in partnership with his parents, Kevin and Geraldine, near Lisavaird in west Cork.

Usually, their cows are at grass by day from the middle of February once they’ve calved, but this year it was 20 March and only when weather allowed.

“We’re grazing one of the wettest paddocks now as the forecast for the week is bad and getting worse so we mightn’t get in there again for a long time.

“It’s not ideal but we’re back fencing to limit damage and, even with that, cows have started bulling so they’re walking more.

“The plans are changing as we go. We’re saving the dry paddocks for wet days and picking a few hours grazing here and there.”

A plentiful supply of silage means fodder isn’t an issue but managing slurry is proving more of a challenge.

“We were slow to leave them out but we wanted to bring the protein up, but the dry matter just isn’t in the grass. Getting them out fills their bellies and takes pressure off the slurry too.

“We took a chance getting slurry out with the umbilical system, in early February. We’re lucky we went then.

“We’ve another yard and can draw to that tank if we’re under pressure at the cow yard and we’re getting a few loads out here and there, but the tanks go down and up a foot every week.”