Cropping

Awards crop up for hay farmers

By Country News

Three northern Victoria farmers and a Mulwala farmer have made the best hay crops in Australia, earning national recognition in the 2018 Feed Central National Hay Quality competition.

Boort’s Josh Lanyon, Col Radcliffe of Kerang, Tom Acocks from Rochester and Mulwala’s Lochie Donald have all won national titles in the competition which recognises and encourages growers to aim for high quality hay.

Mr Lanyon has had a remarkable run of success in the competition, winning national and state titles every year since 2015.

This year Mr Lanyon had the best visual appearance vetch hay crop in Australia and also won the Victorian titles for the best cereal visual appearance and feed analysis.

Mr Radcliffe was named national winner for the best vetch feed analysis crop. He also had Victoria’s best lucerne feed analysis test.

Mr Acocks had Australia’s best visual appearance lucerne crop and Mr Donald’s lucerne crop had the best feed analysis test in Australia.

The national winners also won the state titles for their respective categories.

The Feed Central National Hay Quality awards cover the 2017-18 season and more than 400 lots were judged across Australia.

Feed Central managing director Tim Ford said the overall quality had returned to normal following a low-quality season the previous year.

Mr Ford said the awards were designed to encourage all producers to make the best possible hay and to honour the best in the business.

‘‘The quality of hay has a direct impact on the performance of livestock and it’s always more profitable to eat good quality hay,’’ he said.

‘‘With dairy cattle in particular, good quality hay will have a dramatic improvement in milk production, and beef cattle also respond better. Good quality hay makes money for the end user.’’

Mr Ford said the Feed Central National Hay Quality competition was the only one of its type based on commercial quantities and qualities.