Nutrition & Animal Health

Call to recognise fodder as a national resilience tool

Sheep Central July 8, 2024

Hay is on the move as livestock producers search further for supplies.

A NEW hay and silage sourcing web page for livestock producers has been launched with a call for to recognise fodder as national resilience tool.

The Australian Fodder Industry Association last week launched the webpage listing available sources of fodder, in response to enquiries from those experiencing dry conditions.

AFIA chief executive officer Paula Fitzgerald said the website was launched after calls from farmers concerned about securing fodder supplies.

“We are aware that those in South Australia, south-west Victoria and south-east New South Wales have experienced dry autumn and winter conditions thus far,” she said.

“For now, we believe there is fodder available and the challenge appears to be matching those in need with those who have supply; however, we encourage people to act now to secure supply and consider their stocking levels.

“While AFIA understands the challenges that dry conditions and a lack of feed present, we find it disappointing that we are yet again at this point, a point where fodder is only in the spotlight because of non-ideal conditions,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

Ms Fitzgerald said the AFIA undertook a Fodder R,D&E Stocktake in 2023 that identified a number of potential solutions to the cyclical approach – “solutions which recognise fodder as a national resilience tool and create opportunities to break this cycle.”

“Despite significant funds being allocated to drought preparedness and resilience, we believe the critical role of fodder is still being overlooked on a national level,” she said.

“Over the course of the last three months we have engaged with a number of entities across the country to discuss the Stocktake Report findings.

“There is overwhelming support for the findings, yet these solutions remain unaddressed.”

The AFIA believes there are significant opportunities to:

  • Incentivise growers to make hay in ‘good times’ in preparation for non-optimal conditions.
  • Invest in learning opportunities to help producers understand the ‘best recipe’ for curing hay, producing a high-quality (nutritional) product, and optimising storage.
  • Develop an all-of-production cycle approach to identify risk management tools to put an end to hay fires and associated continually rising insurance bills.

“We need to be focussed on fodder in the good times, rather than only in dry or crisis times,” Ms Fitzgerald  said.

The AFIA hay supply listing webpage can be found at:

Source – AFIA.


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