Would it pay to feed concentrates on your farm?
This time of year is the least labour-intensive on dairy farms. Getting relief milkers can be a challenge if you are planning a trip to a hurling or football match in Dublin or taking holidays before the winter sets in.
The weather has been favourable for reseeding pastures, a job many have put on the long finger over the past two years due to the unfavourable milk price.
There has been a greater emphasis on the inclusion of clover in grass seed mixtures, which makes sense in terms of nitrogen fixation and dietary balance. Caution, however, should be exercised given the risk of bloat.
Inclement weather has made grazing conditions poor on many heavier soil types, but soil temperatures are still excellent for grass growth.
However, farmers are generally finding it difficult to maintain consistent high quality grazing platforms ahead of cows.
Judging when paddocks should be taken out for baled silage requires good judgement in addition to factoring in future weather conditions.
A favourable milk price has meant that farmers will extend lactations this autumn and indeed milk late calvers through the winter months. Traditionally stock bulls would have been removed by the end of July. However, stock bulls are still running with the cows on over 60pc of herds I visited in August.
Our current records reveal that empty rates average 15pc for a 13-week breeding period. Farmers consider that there is either a better economic option of calving young cows as late calvers next May or selling them as late calvers than fattening them.