Waiting for the weather to pick up - Do we need to be patient, or do we need get going?
Do we need to be patient, or do we need get going?
When it comes to spring grazing and getting fertiliser or slurry out, this question bothers me every year. The only way to answer it is to walk the farm and assess whether it can handle cows and machinery.
As soon as ground conditions are good enough, you need to go on all counts.
Unfortunately, having walked our farm in Kerry I'm once again reminded that we're worlds apart from farms in other parts of the country where they are already up and running on the spring schedule.
We have received over 100ml of rain per month in the last seven months so it's no surprise really that my size 7s make tracks as I squelch along with every footstep. I've learned that patience is a virtue in this position, as there's a significant difference between marking/dirtying the pasture and damage.
Whatever your position, being ready is vital. Spring grazing decisions are all about managing your grass reserve in a period where cow demand significantly outweigh grass growth.
The spring rotation planner is a simple yet most effective tool and should be referred to every spring.
Starting with a 100-day rotation in February and reducing to 20 days by mid-April will see around 25-30pc of the farm grazed by March 1, and 70pc by March 20, with the second rotation starting by the first week of April.