Farmers from Paruna and Naracoorte have stood out in the 2018-19 Feed Central National Hay Quality awards.
Andrew Westbrook from Paruna had the best lucerne hay feed test analysis and the Teate family from Naracoorte had the best lucerne visual appearance score in the annual awards.
Contractor Jeremy Boddington from Binnum Farm Enterprises who baled the winning lucerne hay, and Simon Teate who accepted the award on behalf of his family.
The 2018-19 awards were launched last week in Queensland by Australian Fodder Industry Association CEO John McKew.
Feed Central Managing Director Tim Ford said the nation’s ongoing drought had impacted on this year’s awards, but some producers had defied the conditions to produce good quality hay.
“We were very impressed by the efforts of some growers to excel despite the drought,” Mr Ford said. “With record high prices and a very aggressive selling season, they could have sold their product at any quality, but they went to great effort to make good quality hay.”
He added that the drought had led to some very good product. “Dry conditions always make good quality hay, but we haven’t had the quantity this year.”
On the national front, Victorian haymakers dominated, winning four of the five awards. Frank Fanning from Kyabram had the best Lucerne hay feed test analysis and the best Lucerne visual appearance score, Richard Wilken from Warracknabeal scored the double for the best vetch hay feed test analysis and visual appearance score, and Tom White from Hopetoun had the best cereal hay visual appearance score.
Mr Ford said the awards recognise and encourage growers to aim for high quality hay.
“They help to set a benchmark of quality that will improve the consistency of hay in Australia, which leads to better returns for suppliers and better outcomes for end users.”
The Feed Central National Hay Quality competition is the only competition in Australia based on commercial lots of large square and round bales that are genuinely for sale.
Hay listed with Feed Central in preparation for sale is inspected on-farm by a certified Feed Central inspector and is eligible for entry in the competition.
More details can be found at www.feedcentral.com.au. Feed Central aims to connect buyers and sellers of fodder and buys, sells and tests hay, grain, silage, straw, by-product and fertiliser.