Unfortunately, the wet weather last week and over the weekend threw another spanner in the works in terms of getting cows out grazing.
While some farmers on drier grounds have managed to continue grazing, others have had no other choice but to fully house again.
On a positive note, the weather is set to pick up towards the end of this week which will hopefully provide an opportunity to move cows outdoors.
It is important that farmers pay close attention to the weather forecast and use any opportunity to get the cows out grazing; however, this can be easier said than done depending on your land type.
- Graze the driest paddocks on the farm, where possible;
- Graze the most easily accessible paddocks;
- Let cows out to graze with an appetite. This can be achieved by restricting access to silage for a period before grazing;
- Bring cows in once they are finished grazing. Don’t leave them standing around the gap;
- Use a strip wire and a back fence while grazing;
- If cows are in by night and grazing by day they will need access to silage, but ensure it is gone by morning.
Grass is the cheapest feed available on the farm and in these uncertain times amidst Covid-19 (coronavirus), farmers should try to keep grass in the diet and costs down where possible.
While reaching grazing targets is the last thing on your mind during this challenging spring and the unfortunate pandemic we are in, they mustn’t be completely forgotten about.
For the very few who managed to get 30% grazed by March 1, the target now is to have 66% grazed by Paddy’s Day.
For others, Teagasc has advised farmers to use the adjusted targets as seen in the table below.