Like all other parts of the country, March has been an unbelievably wet month on Tullamore Farm, with over three times the February rainfall already having fallen on the farm in March.
This coincides with turnout on the farm, so it has disrupted plans a lot, especially in the last seven days.
There are currently 66 cows calved on the farm with 65 live calves on the ground.
Cows have all been calving with little assistance, with calves requiring very little assistance in terms of sucking, etc.
The plan would normally be to get cows and calves out in small batches but weather over the last week has disrupted these plans. One saving grace has been the new shed which was built in 2022.
It is a four-bay slatted shed with a large lieback area behind the slats and this has meant cows and calves have been able to move into these large loose pens over the last few days.
In other years, temporary creep areas had to be constructed in some of the centre passages on the sheds on the farm. This meant that stocking rate on the slats had to be reduced as feeding space was reduced.
Farm manager Shaun Diver said: “We’re lucky in that we still have a good bit of straw left, so we have upped the usage over the last few days to avoid any issues occurring in any of the sheds.
“When stocking rate increases in sheds, that’s where problems can occur and we don’t want any problems.
“Sheds can also be harder to bed in very wet weather.”
Things can change very quickly at this time of year
There are about 15 cows left to calve on the farm with a lot of these cows expected to calve in the next two weeks.
“We actually have one cover of grass on some paddocks. We got out with slurry in early February and that has meant paddocks have kicked on. It’s just ground conditions beating us at the moment.
“Things can change very quickly at this time of year though and if we get a dry couple of days, we will go back to turning out stock again,” Shaun said.
The lambing shed has also got very busy over the last few days. There are just a handful of ewes and lambs out, with weather also stalling sheep turnout.
Tullamore Farm welcomed over 450 students on to the farm on Thursday as part of the national series of farm walks and talks organised by Agri Aware.
The Irish Farmers Journal specialist team presented information from beef systems and breeding to sheep systems.
Students also learned about climate change and biodiversity along with animal health and trade and economics.