FARMERS from four states across Australia have been recognised today for making top quality hay despite a tough season.
Growers from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia have shared top honours in the Feed Central National Hay Quality awards announced at the Australian Fodder Industry Association 2023 FODDERGANZA! in Bendigo.
Col Radcliffe and the Radcliffe family of Kerang, Victoria continued their success in the Hay Quality Awards winning the Best Lucerne Visual Score. The runner up for the Lucerne Visual Score was Wade Alexander and the Alexander family from Mundubbera, Queensland.
“We normally have state and national winners but because of the extensive weather damage last year, there weren’t enough quality samples to have state awards so we decided to combine entries at a national level,” Mr Ford said.
“However, the national awards are as important as ever because despite the tough season, some farmers still came up with really good product through their excellent management,” he said.
The Best Lucerne Feed Test was won by Bill Ferguson from Cumboogle Farming in Dubbo, NSW, while runner up was Alex Peacock and the Peacock family from Timmering Victoria.
Brad Griffiths from Mallala South Australia was the national winner for both the Best Cereal Visual Score and the best Cereal Feed Test.
Mr Ford said all winners had prospered despite the challenging conditions.
Despite the lack of quality product for the 2022-23 season, Mr Ford is more upbeat about the prospects for this season.
“I think it’s looking really good,” he said.
“Some areas are dry but there is good growth in most areas.
“A dry season is predicted so we are expecting good quality hay,” Mr Ford said.
“Last year there was a series of ongoing weather fronts when hay was on the ground; we would be extremely unlucky to get that again this year.”
The Feed Central National Hay Quality awards recognise and encourage growers to aim for high quality hay. 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.