Mundubbera farmers make hay while the sun shines
MUNDUBBERA farmer Wade Alexander has been rewarded for making the best hay crops in Queensland, defying the tough drought conditions.
Mr Alexander has won two prizes in the 2018-19 Feed Central National Hay Quality awards, for the best lucerne hay feed test analysis and visual appearance score.
The awards were presented yesterday by Feed Central Managing Director Tim Ford and Australian Fodder Industry Association CEO John McKew.
Mr Ford said the annual awards had been heavily impacted by drought, 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,” Mr Ford said.
Field inspector and Feed Central Area Manager, Steve Page, said Mr Alexander's crops had excelled in a tough year.
"Wade went through a huge storm back in November 2017 which destroyed a big shed on his property,” Mr Page said.
"He had to do a big clean up and build new sheds and he's done extremely well to get the whole operation back on deck.
"The quality of his crops is all down to him being so good at what he does.”
Victorian farmers won four of the five national awards, reflecting the more extreme drought conditions in northern Australia.
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.
Feed Central aims to connect buyers and sellers of fodder and buys, sells and tests hay, grain, silage, straw, by-product and fertiliser.