Put a grazing plan in place now and reap rewards in spring
Now that October has arrived, it is time to start putting a grazing plan in place. Grassland management really starts in October - we need to ensure we have enough grass next spring.
Proper grassland management in the back end of the year can reduce the dependence on concentrates and silage next spring.
What we farmers do over the next few weeks has a huge impact on next spring. So sit down and do up a plan.
Plans can change, but if you have a plan in place, you have an idea of where you are going to graze next and what paddocks are going to be closed up first.
Closing date will have a big effect on the amount of grass available on sheep farms next spring.
Grass requires a 120-day period to rejuvenate and for covers to build up over the winter months.
I will try to have 20pc of the farm closed by late October, 40pc by mid-November, 60pc by late November and 80pc by mid-December, when most of the ewes will be housed.
The most important thing is to eat out paddocks well before you close them, as grass left will die off over the winter and have slower growth next spring.