Wet weather is increasing the workload as the mating period moves into top gear
April has certainly had its challenges and unfortunately recent weather forecasts don't give any real hope of light at the end of the tunnel.
Generally low grass growth rates have been the major concern, with the risk of low and falling averages for grass cover.
This has been compensated for by feeding extra meal and standing silage crops or baled/pit silage while holding a longer rotation, such as 25 days.
For some, this has been coupled with high rainfall and deteriorating ground conditions, which have eventually resulted in the final step of putting the cows in for a few hours at night or even a few days.
Tired faces and gloomy outlooks have been noticeable at discussion groups due to the extra workload of the last few weeks, and this is now coming on top of mating maiden heifers and cows.
The reality is that while many may breathe a sigh of relief at the end of calving, the mating period is actually the busiest time of year.
Options for mating heifers have been discussed on many occasions, but, with pressure mounting on other fronts, many farmers have opted to PG (synchronise) heifers after a week of AI to speed up the process.
Synchronising heifers allows them to be moved off the milking platform and reduces the workload as quickly as possible (after 12 days). Others are juggling their circumstances to cover the heifers with AI for three weeks.