Make way for hay

Growers are being encouraged to make hay during the 2022-23 season as demand continues to be strong.

A new booklet released in early October by Feed Central, Tips For A Profitable Hay Season 2022-23, outlines numerous opportunities for hay production this season.

“There is large scale disinterest in making hay due to the wet weather and high grain prices, but hay demand is strong and prices are rising, so growers should look to make hay as soon as there is a gap in the weather,” Feed Central managing director Tim Ford said.

Mr Ford said opportunities would present themselves as the weather cleared and could include cereal and vetch but more likely pastures, including clover and rye, dryland lucerne and irrigated lucerne through summer.

“We have every reason to believe that hay will be a profitable option again this year and it’s time to start planning for pasture hay, plus irrigated and rain-grown lucerne,” he said.

Based on previous experience, growers can expect a higher gross margin out of hay than grain.

“We encourage anyone with excess vetch, cereal, pastures, lucerne to consider hay as going into 2023 we are expecting hay prices to rise backed by strong demand and reduced supply,” Mr Ford said.

“Now is a good time to start thinking about moving stock off pasture and lucerne paddocks, spraying weeds and getting the hayshed ready for new-season hay.”

The booklet has been launched to kick start the hay making season.

While 2022 has been a year of mixed blessings for growers across the country — with many facing challenges with floods, COVID-19 and labour shortages — Mr Ford said there was a sense of optimism in the industry.

The booklet is packed with information on making the hay making experience as easy and profitable as possible.

It includes an overview of how the hay market works, the current hay market and outlook for 2022-23, why it takes time to sell, a margin calculator, tips on how to market low-grade hay, tips on storage and how to make good hay,

More details can be found at: