Tommy Boland: Weather extremes will hit weight targets
It’s almost inevitable that my articles this year start with a discussion about the weather.
The month of May here was exceptionally dry, and with the exception of a deluge on Friday, June 8, this month has started in a similar fashion at Lyons Farm.
We received about 30pc of our normal rainfall in May and while this led to great conditions for silage harvest, soil moisture deficit is now having a major impact on grass growth.
This is especially the case on the sheep grazing ground on the hill.
Due to the very shallow soil depth on this portion of the farm, it is particularly prone to burning up in dry weather and that is happening at the moment.
This is not what we needed as lambs were already behind target at their six-week weighing due to the very difficult spring so at this stage we are unlikely to hit our weaning weight targets.
What we are seeing at the moment is grass is heading out due to the physiological stress it is under so rotation length is running at about 15 to 16 days to minimise the impact this is having on sward quality.
Also the ewes and lambs are being removed from swards at a post grazing sward height of approximately 5.5cm, with dry cows being used to take these swards down to approximately 4.5cm.