Grazing conditions are challenging in the northern and western areas of the country.

Heavy rain over the last week has made ground soft and cattle are causing damage.

As far as possible, it is important to protect grazed areas from poaching.

Swards will recover from superficial damage and continue to grow. But if swards are heavily poached, grass growth will be severely curtailed for the rest of the year.


If cattle are grazing on a rotation, keep moving animals to fresh grass on shorter breaks of 24 to 48 hours.

Holding cattle to clean out low covers causes animals to become more unsettled, thereby increasing the amount of poaching.

Use a back fence to protect grazed areas as necessary. If cattle are being offered concentrates, position the trough on a hardcore area.

If this is not possible, use lighter troughs that can be easily moved to a different location each time meals are offered.

Finally, do not be afraid to bring some cattle inside for a short period. Rehousing should be viewed as part of good grassland management.

Do not worry if neighbours leave cattle outside. Housing stock for a few days may be the best option for your herd and land, so do not be deterred by what others may think.

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