John Fagan: The sweet smell of haylage is a balm after our awful winter
'Don't cast a clout till May is out' is an old saying that my father often reminds me about each year when we're thinking about making silage or making decisions on how much silage we should make.
I suppose it goes with the territory. Being 88, he's pretty much seen it all in farming.
He remembers the war years and the hard winters of 1947, 1963 and 1985, the difficult years always leaving a lasting impression in the memory bank. He's lived through more recessions than economic booms. What goes up must come down he says, so as farmers I think we can never really lose the run of ourselves as the weather in Ireland is certainly a great leveller.
The grass growth over the last week has been exponential. Looking back at my last article I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't be closing off fields until June, but as I write this article, we are busy bringing in our first cut, albeit a small cut, of silage.
I also managed to take out a few paddocks that had gotten ahead of themselves and made over one hundred bales of beautiful, sweet smelling haylage.
It's a start. If you told me a month ago that this would be the case I would have probably thought you were being smug, let's be honest, I was in bad form.
The plan now is to close off all the cleaned up fields around the place and I'm going out with two bags of CAN aiming to make the mother of all silage cuts in early July.
This should see my silage pits happily refilled and I'm good to go for the winter. Not only that I will have good after grass coming on stream for my lambs' post weaning.