Mother Nature having last laugh
It appears that Mother Nature is having the last laugh this spring. First of all, we had a very mild winter which provided an abundance of early grass, then we had a dry spell which was a great bonus as it allowed all of this early grass to be fully utilised.
However, with the recent cold and wet spell, grass is now at a premium with little sign of any paddocks recovering in time to be ready for their second grazing.
I deferred the predicament somewhat by delaying the letting-out of the last of my cattle until April 12. However, I must confess that these animals are now struggling to get going with the current downturn in the weather.
On the other hand, the cattle that I got out in early March continue to do well.
But at the moment, looking at next week's paddocks, I'm in a position to empathise with Old Mother Hubbard when she found out that her cupboards were bare of goods.
The current shortage of grass may be having a limited affect on the cattle trade, but one thing that struck me when I returned to the ringside in spring was the number of Friesian-cross yearling bulls coming on the market.
Unfortunately, for the people who produced these bulls, they don't appear to be selling that well in comparison to Friesian-cross yearling bullocks, which, up to now, have been making record prices.
This recent proliferation of young bulls begs the question why, in spite of the fact there are more dairy cows than beef in Ireland, we don't appear to have a clear policy about beef sourced from the dairy herd?