Poorer submission rates force a rethink on bull calculations to guarantee cows calve next spring
The sun has been shining bright in the sky, soil temperatures have risen above 15°C and with the distant rumble of silage harvesting, I think we can finally say summer has arrived.
While we in the west are loving this dry sunny weather and praying it will continue, I know that there will be others wishing for some rain.
It is easy to assume that the weather issues facing all farmers are similar but it's hard to believe the extremes of variation between farms.
In recent weeks we have had some farms where tractors would get stuck and others where farmers could drive a full articulated trailer of silage over the land.
This spell of dry weather has eased farmers' workload considerably. Break wires have been removed from paddocks and animals have stopped the aimless walking that's done in wet conditions.
There is now a degree of flexibility in when jobs can be done, with ground conditions allowing slurry and fertiliser spreading, silage cutting, pre-mowing and topping to be done with ease.
It won't be long until the bulls are put in with the cows, which will also ease the workload further. Most farmers opt to use bulls for around six to eight weeks of mating.
However, submission rates have been lower than desired this year for a number of herds, with 70-80pc submitted a common result after 21 days.