After a very wet winter, with rainfall levels breaking all records in many areas grass is showing good growth albeit a lot of grass is still standing in water. The land still has a long way to go in drying up and the continual flooding and saturation of the land during the winter will have taken its toll on soil structure which will take a lot of recovery. The effects of flooding on pasture land is well documented by scientists, some grasses will die after 10-14 days under water . The pasture does not necessarily need to be flooded but if the soil is saturated then the roots of the grasses are denied oxygen as the air spaces become filled with water and the roots will perish and die. Although the grasses may not die they will have a shorter root structure which will mean the plants are less effective in absorbing nutrients and water in periods of low rainfall as the roots will not be penetrating as deep into the soil. A long dry summer following a very wet winter could be very challenging.
On a more positive note if the weather continues to be dry and as the days lengthen we will be able to turn cattle out onto a good length of grass, already I have seen cattle turned out in some parts of the country.
Demand for organic store cattle is strong with plenty of grass ahead and still good stocks of conserved forage still available.
I predict a strong demand for store cattle to continue for at least the next 2-3 months.
Do not hesitate to call the office on 01829730580 or my mobile 07720892922 or David Bostock on 07734808050 or Ian turner on 07970197619 for advice on store cattle or lambs.