At last a verdancy has came over the countryside, with the incessant rain of May replenishing the thirsty blotting paper like canvas that was the countryside, this appears to have been the panacea we were waiting for.
At the mid-way point of the year, it would seem apt to have a cursory review of the spring period. Like most springs, the spring of 2021 has been described as tough, weather wise. My thought on this is spring was neither good or bad, spring was spring. Changeable, joyous, frustrating, fulfilling, challenging, re-invigorating, all these words describe spring at some point.
Spring by its very nature is a volatile couple of months, a season that in my opinion extended well into May, it was like a bad guest, it did not know when to leave. However going forward we as farmers must make sure we are prepared for the “bad spring” as having a contingency in the form of extra fodder reserves etc. will help us cast a cold eye on spring and see it through without needless hand-wringing.
Irish agriculture is enjoying one of its best years in terms of market returns and its brilliant to see that this is across all farm commodity classes. A good year to a farm is not just important for the present viability of a farm business. It can also contribute to the medium to long term prospects of the business if the allocation of that extra income is done in a way that will make the farm a more efficient and productive business.
If a farmer is under capitalised, it can lead to cutting back on necessary spending on areas like soil fertility or perhaps they will have to wait until they have the money to do a relatively simple recurring investment that might lead to greater profits if it were done. If you know there’s gold in the ground, you can’t very well dig for it if your biggest worry is the price of the shovel.
On our own farm, thankfully breeding season is slowing down with what seems to be at this stage a small number of repeats, I keep my fingers firmly crossed on this as we are not at our sixth week of breeding but the signs are positive as of yet. This day last year we had a large amount of our silage work under cover and wraps for the year but we have yet to make a bale in 2021, we should get our first cut in the pit this week but the changeable weather could make a fool of me and my assumption.
Our reseeded paddocks have come alive and are now sporting a light green shadow of new grass, it will be a few weeks yet before we get to graze these however. The dairy heifers now have two red Aberdeen Angus bulls residing with them to pick up any repeats, doing A.I. on an out farm is a bit of a nightmare in terms of efficiency so I’m glad to relinquish my role as A.I. technician to these young bulls.