Normally at this time of the year all the cattle would be out day and night for the last fortnight or three weeks. Not this year – the long dry spell of frosty nights and north east winds has left the grassland recovering very slowly after the first grazing which we took in early March. I have never used nitrogen on our grazing ground, relying instead on an early application of slurry to get growth moving initially and then expecting the clover to kick in and keep a reasonable supply of grass in front of the cattle. But clover needs some heat, ideally accompanied by some moisture – this year we have had neither and we are seeing the effects.

Luckily we still have some silage left and as the finished cattle go, it is lasting that bit longer.