John Joyce: The mild winter has made for a very welcome stress-free spring
It is hard to believe the difference between the weather - and the stress levels - this spring compared to last year.
I have never seen a winter when both doors of the cattle sheds need to be left open due to the heat inside the sheds.
Over the last week we have tackled the rising slurry in the tanks. This is our first time spreading slurry this year as the cattle entered the sheds so late last autumn there was no real need.
We have concentrated spreading on the silage ground at the rate of 2,000 gallons per acre. Some of it has too much grass on it to spread with the splash plate, while the rest has been grazed bare by the sheep so it is perfect for spreading.
Other years it was convenient to spread it on the grazing ground but it is the silage ground that needs these nutrients as it is the by-product of the crop of grass that left those fields in the silage trailers or bales last summer.
The tanks have the capacity to hold the remaining slurry for the rest of the winter, although we shall spread a significant amount in April when closing up the silage ground for the coming season.
Judging by the amount of grass around and doing a count of the bales of silage, hay and straw in the yard, I think we should have adequate feed for the remainder of this winter if we stay on the same level of meal feeding.
In addition, we have also started to zero graze the Restart as the crop was getting advanced with the risk of going to flower. It has been tipped on the silage slab and we are reloading it into the diet feeder mixing it with 50pc straw and feeding it to the weanlings.