Turnout on Tullamore Farm was finally under way this week, with the recent improvement in weather conditions allowing stock to return to grass.

With the ground conditions continuing to improve on the farm, it also meant that the fertiliser spreader was out for the first time this spring, with about 30 acres with medium grass covers getting just shy of a half bag of urea per acre.

Farm manager Shaun Diver said: "Shed space was coming under pressure, so the opportunity to turn out 12 cows and calves has really made a difference.”

The grass cover this week on the farm is 683kg DM/ha, which has increased by 35kg DM/ha from last week’s cover.

Commenting on grass supply, Shaun said: "It’s great to see the average grass cover continuing to rise across the farm. The average growth per day was 13kg DM/ha this week, which is still a high figure for the day of the year."

The steady flow of calves being born on the farm continues, with five more cows calved this week, bringing the total to 45.

Shaun said: "We are now halfway through the calving season and things seems to be going fairly well.

"We have had two cases of mortality so far, which was disappointing. One was a premature calf and the other was lost due to a difficult calving.

"But apart from that, most cows have calved unaided, with calves vigorous and quick to get up and suck."

Lambing is also approaching on Tullamore Farm, with ewes due from 14 March.

However, Shaun says that ewes are in good condition and that the triplet-bearing ewes are starting to bag up considerably, so he will be ready for lambs anytime from the middle of next week.

Preparations are under way on the farm before the busy lambing period commences.

Shaun said: "It’s important to have a good supply of materials, such as stomach tubes, lambing gel and ropes, on the farm to make sure you are covered in advance if lambing difficulties do occur."

The twin-bearing mature ewes have had their ration increased to a rate of 700g/day this week and the triplet-carrying ewes to a rate of 800g/day.

Singles continue with no concentrates and are being fed good-quality silage which is 75% DMD, made from surplus grazing last summer.

Shaun said: "We are currently splitting the feed twice a day. This reduces the risk of acidosis by spreading the feeds out, as well as making herding much easier, as you can easily see ewes coming to feed morning and evening."