I challenge anyone to not raise a smile as they watch cows being turned into fields for the first time after a winter sheltering indoors.

Frolicking and kicking up their legs like ungainly spring lambs, their excitement at being out in the fresh air is a joy to behold.

After what was a particularly long winter, with persistent rain putting the brakes on spring turnout, it really was the best day of the year on many farms in Pembrokeshire.

Grazing cows at grass is arguably much easier and, more importantly, cheaper than bedding up sheds, bringing in feed, scraping out and spreading muck.

On the subject of muck, if there was ever a year to expose flaws in the Welsh Government’s approach to protecting water quality from agricultural pollution it is this.

By effectively designating the whole of Wales a nitrate vulnerable zone by limiting the amount of nitrogen that can be applied to farmland, and with those restrictions kicking in later this year, a huge volume of slurry will be spread immediately after the winter ban ends.

This is currently mid-January for grassland and arable land.

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Farmers all over Wales, whose stores are likely to be full at that point, would be emptying them simultaneously, causing big spikes in nitrate levels and risking water pollution in areas that have not experienced previous problems.

If 2023-24 has taught us anything it is that there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ year.

Had the regulations been in force this spring, the ending of the closed period for spreading would have come when the rain was, at times, torrential.

Ever since the government first unveiled these regulations, the industry has warned of the consequences of a ‘farming-by-calendar’ approach.

There are few upsides to the long period of rain we are emerging from but perhaps those grey clouds could have a silver lining if the wettest ten months many of us can remember encourages politicians to revisit this policy.

With changes, they could surely come up with one that works for both farmers and the environment.