JULY 4, 2014

A new App that will allow hay-making contractors and regular hay growers to assess the quality of their product will be unveiled during the Australian Fodder Industry Association national fodder conference in Adelaide.

Feed Central has developed the Australian-first App which will give producers the ability to market their hay more promptly and to a wider audience.

It will be launched during the AFIA conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre on August 5 at a breakfast workshop where contractors and growers can learn to become Accredited Feed Central Assessors.

Quality Assurance and Supply Manager Ian Wickham said Feed Central was rolling out the program to accredit contractors and growers to do first round quality assessment and to list hay directly with Feed Central, starting with the 2014/15 hay season.

It’s a great leap forward for the whole fodder industry,” Mr Wickham said.

“There is no national grading system and in the absence of national standards the app helps standardise assessments and gives buyers greater confidence to buy more hay sight unseen, while still allowing growers and contractors to market this product through their own channels,” he said.

“Growers and contractors will be able to get their product online and available to sell much quicker. With Feed Central’s unmatched turnaround time of 24 hours, by answering a few simple questions sellers of fodder are a chance to sell to the domestic database of more than 15000 buyers within a few days. That’s a really powerful tool.

Mr Wickham said the App would fit in well for those wanting a feed test. “Buyers are demanding more information on the hay before they buy and it’s not just feed test they need to know about,” he added.

Quality assurance is protected in the process. The hay will feature a stamped quality statement to establish if it is assessed by a Feed Central assessor or a self-assessment.

Growers can still have a Feed Central assessor visit their properties. The assessors will also use the new technology, reducing reliance on a paper-based system.

The new technology was developed in-house by Feed Central and was built with ease of use for both user and buyer in mind.

“We want to ask simple questions about the product in an easy format, everyone has their phone handy when trying to sell product so this was an obvious extension,” Mr Wickham said.

“Growers will be able to do it themselves; it’s not a difficult process but it has benefits of getting product marketed more effectively and still with all the right information wanted by decision-makers.”

Mr Wickham said growers and contractors participating in the two-hour breakfast workshop become Accredited Feed Central Assessors and learn how to market hay with Feed Central.

During the workshop the category winners of the Feed Central National Hay Quality Competition will be announced. The national winner will be announced later that day during the AFIA conference.

Feed Central has marketed and sold just over 100,000 tonnes of quality assured hay in the past 12 months.

People can contact 1300 669 429 for more information.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Tuesday August 5, 7:00am breakfast for 7.30am workshop: Adelaide Convention Centre

For more information: Cieran Maxwell 07 4630 4899 or 0412 175 619