Rainfall over the course of last weekend and even on Monday night has seen the Thrive programme demo farm in Cashel, Co Tipperary, visibly green up and has released the moisture pressure that was building in the swards of grass over the last three weeks.

Just last Thursday, the decision had been taken to start feeding some baled silage to the one-and-a-half-year-olds at grass to take the pressure off the rotation and allow covers time to build ahead of stock.

Thankfully, feeding only had to last four days, such is the change in conditions in that timeframe.

Predicted grass growth is back up into the mid-60s kg DM/ha and with demand at 44kg DM/ha, there is no need to continue to feed silage.

We had not let the average farm cover fall below 600kg DM/ha at any stage, so things will recover quite quickly.

Nitrogen on grazing ground

To aid growth, about 30 acres of grazing ground received around 20 units of nitrogen once we were sure the rain was going to land in a significant enough volume.

This increase in moisture will likely see a big increase in worm burdens on pasture over the next 10 days in the south of the country.

Reports suggest worm burdens are already quite high in the north and northwest, where moisture is far from lacking.

Difficult conditions in northwest

Heavy rainfall, strong winds and cool conditions over the last number of days in the northwest of the country has seen a spike in cases of pneumonia in spring-born calves.

Keep a close eye on stock when herding over the coming days, as identifying a sick calf as early as possible will give them the best chance of recovery.

Signs of pneumonia

Early signs can be very subtle, but if calves are slow to get up when approached or where they do not stretch when they do get up, these are always telltale signs.

Another sign that a calf might be under the weather is when they get up, they shake their head.

Keep an eye out for a calf that carries its head quite low or for ears that seem drooped. A calf that is only starting to get sick may still come to the trough for meal, but will be slower to eat and appear to have a poor appetite.