Don't get caught out when planning the spring rotation
The much-needed spell of dry weather has lifted moods. Cows are out day and night and maiden heifers are out grazing on farms right across the country.
Farmers on wetter ground they have been waiting for this weather for a long and weary year now, but it's amazing, given the right conditions, how quickly things can change.
However, is there a risk of us all getting ahead of ourselves? With such good grazing conditions there is still the potential risk that we might graze too much too fast.
The spring rotation plan is a great tool and if grazing conditions were good to fair and grass growth was living up to expectation, you would roughly graze around 30pc of the farm by February 28, 60pc by March 15, and would be finishing the first rotation around April 4-8.
If grass growth is poor then you slow things down, and use longer rotations. However, a big dilemma that farmers have faced on the wetter ground is that grazing didn't commence until around February 20.
Aiming for 30pc grazed by February 28 in this situation is risky territory, as you have also forgone the potential grass re-growth that February had to offer.
So a revised plan is to start off with a rotation of 80 days and give yourself an extra four to seven days in the first rotation, grazing into April to make up for this loss. This would revise the area grazed to approximately 10pc grazed by February 28, 35pc grazed by March 15, 70pc grazed by March 31 and the remainder grazed by around April 10.
If grass covers are falling fast and growth is slow, then this revised plan may be the way to go. However, if the average pasture cover remains strong, above 450kgDM/ha, and grass growth is meeting expectations, stick to the original plan.