Every year around 10 million tonnes of fodder (Hay, straw and silage) is produced. Total value is around $2 billion. Approximately half is traded, and half retained for on farm use. See what the benefits of making hay are.
Like all commodities, the market is cyclical, however, growers with good quality Hay, who are prepared to store the product in a shed can achieve great returns.
Grain vs Hay
Almost every year Hay outperforms Grain in gross value per ha. Yes, the work is there but so are the rewards. The rule of thumb is that Hay yields approximately twice that of Grain, in a good season. This rule is very relevant when crops have bulk vegetation but lack soil moisture to make grain, especially after a frost.
To highlight Hay’s potential using the rule, Feed Central has inserted a simple gross margin budget which provides space for growers to do their own figures. The calculation compares gross margin per hectare from harvesting Grain to making Hay.
Additionally, Fodder crops allow grazing to occur earlier than with a Grain crop and in some regions facilitate double cropping. Drought and frost can result in non-traditional Hay crops being a very viable income opportunity.
Important Tips When Baling Hay
Demand typically crashes in Spring, during the baling period. Top producers run a marathon, not a sprint with the sale process. Livestock eat 365 days /year. As producers, it’s important to know you don’t have to do every deal.
Dietary anions include: Sulfur, Chloride and Phosphorous. Similarly to the cations, there are two main anion minerals which have an effect on blood pH, with Sulfur and Chloride providing the majority of the acidifying function.
Hence, as Sodium, Potassium, Chloride and Sulphur are the major contributors affecting the total charge of the diet, these are most commonly used to determine the DCAD of diets.
The decision to bale in the coming season must take into consideration the long-term storage of your Hay.
See what hay buyers really want from when looking for good quality hay.
Here are some key tips for those considering to make Hay:
- Have a financial plan in place.
- Prepare yourself that the product could take several months to move, depending on the market and season.
- High density bales are HIGHLY preferred by the buyers. See how many bales per acre you can achieve.
- HD Bales provide buyers with a huge freight saving.
- Almost every year Hay outperforms Grain in gross value per ha.
- Know your storage plan.
- Fact: Buyer’s love shedded product. We recommend only baling to the capacity of your sheds and to the capacity of your financial facilities.
- Fodder crops provide an important weed and disease management strategy
- These ‘hidden’ rotational benefits need to be considered.
- Fodder crops allow grazing to occur earlier than with a Grain crop and in some regions facilitate double-cropping benefits.
- Drought and frost can result in non-traditional Hay crops being a very viable income opportunity.
- Hay yields are approximately twice that of Grain, as a rule of thumb in a good season.
- Quality matters.