Declan Marren, THRIVE demonstration farm, Cashel, Co Tipperary

With stock out to grass on 1 March, heavy snowfall last Wednesday meant stock had to be rehoused. While rehousing is not ideal, the positive side of having stock out is that the nine days at grass saved almost 30 bales of silage which could be a huge cost saving with the price of making silage this year.

Wet weather following the snow has stopped stock getting back to grass, but with a good forecast for the coming days we hope to get back out next week.We’ve yet to spread any chemical nitrogen, there is a good cover of grass on the farm and demand in early spring is not huge. The plan is to put out a half bag of urea on the ground once grazed.

Niall O’Meara, Killimor, Co Galway

The in-calf heifers and beef heifers started to go out by day again on Tuesday. There has been nothing out since 9 March due to conditions. I have 51% of the farm grazed since 1 November as the calves creep out over the winter months from the shed. It means that the remaining half of the farm is the wetter paddocks. I am targeting paddocks with good access. Heifers go out hungry so that they get their heads down straight away. I offer them a small bit of silage at night in the shed.

Having read with interest the results of slurry testing in the Irish Farmers Journal in recent weeks, I plan to test our cattle slurry in the coming weeks. Using a book figure for slurry could overestimate nutrient application quite considerably.

Shaun Diver, Tullamore Farm, Co Offaly

A wet week has seen grass growth slow down and ground conditions deteriorate. Currently there are 15 cows and calves at grass, but with the forecast good for the weekend I hope to get another eight or 10 cows and calves out which will take the pressure off housing. Calving is going well, there are over 55 cows calved with three cases of mortality. The ewes started lambing late last week, it has been slow up to now but I expect it to get busier over the weekend. The first ewes and lambs went to grass on Tuesday morning as conditions were decent.

The bulls are now on ad-lib meal. They have transitioned from their 16% protein ration onto the 12% finishing ration which is currently coming in at €340/t.