Cropping

Family wins national hay award

By Rodney Woods

Having been associated with the hay industry for 30 years, Mulwala’s Lochie Donald knows a fair few tricks of the trade.

And it shows, with he and his family receiving the best feed analysis test in Australia for their lucerne, as part of the 2018 Feed Central National Hay Quality awards.

Mr Donald, with the help of his family, grows oat and hay, lucerne, clover and rye-grass hay on 708ha, some of which is occupied by up to 1000 crossbred and Merino ewes.

Despite having sheep on the farm, the family’s main focus is the hay side of the business.

‘‘Ninety per cent of our turnover is hay and has been for a number of years,’’ Mr Donald said.

‘‘Our predominate market is the dairy sector.’’

With hay prices not great for the past two seasons, Mr Donald said they were now starting to catch up.

‘‘The last two seasons hay prices were horrible. Some of this hay is three years old.

‘‘Eighty per cent goes out to repeat clients that are after good hay for a good price.’’

After hearing of his success, Mr Donald said it was great to get recognition for the hard work his family put in.

‘‘I was stoked with the recognition,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m just really happy to show the kids that what we are trying to do is paying off.’’

When producing his hay, including the award-winning lucerne, Mr Donald uses mostly Massey Ferguson machinery — mainly because of the service he gets from his local dealer.

‘‘Reliability, service and back up from our local Cobram dealer (are the reasons for using Massey Ferguson),’’ he said.

‘‘The machinery could break down at midnight and I’ll be able to have it back up and running by 6am the next morning.

‘‘I don’t care about the colour of the machine, it’s just the service (that matters).

‘‘Having said that I do love my Massey gear because of its ease of use and longevity.’’

The Donalds produce about 4000 8x4x3 rectangular bales a season.