Media Release: Feed Central

Date: August 5, 2014


South Australian farmers win awards for top quality hay


Hay growers and balers from Bordertown, Kingston, Loxton, Burra, Wasleys and Jamestown have won state awards for their excellence in producing some of Australia’s best hay.


The Feed Central National Hay Quality Competition – the first in Australia for large-scale commercial hay producers – is giving more than $10,000 in prizes to reward growers who produce high quality hay.


The award winners were announced today by Feed Central during the Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) National Fodder Conference in Adelaide.

A total of 753 lots weighing 180,000 tonnes were inspected during the competition which ran between September 1 last year and June 30. The average lot size was 240 tonnes.


Burra producer William Gebhardt from BS & W Pty Ltd had double success, winning both the best visual and best feed analysis awards for South Australian vetch.


The best Lucerne feed analysis award was shared by grower Mark Pridham of Bordertown and baler Rob Olsen of Kingston, while the best Lucerne visual appearance prize was awarded to Andrew Westbrook from West Hay in Loxton.


Chris Bretag from Jamestown won the title of best cereal visual appearance and the Selleck family from Wasleys had the best cereal feed analysis.


Feed Central Managing Director Tim Ford said the competition promoted the importance of good quality hay and recognised the excellent work of growers.


“This is the first time that large scale commercial hay producers have had an opportunity to compete on a national basis for recognition of their hard work and quality produce,” Mr Ford said.


Mr Ford said the inaugural competition attracted top quality entries. “Overall we had a good dry spring and hot dry summer nationwide which resulted in good quality hay being available,” he said.


All hay submitted to the Feed Central hay inspection system is automatically entered in the competition and assessed for visual appearance and feed content.


Hay that looks the colour of a $100 note will be well graded on visual appearance, while high metabolisable energy (ME) and protein will result in a good feed test. A minimum of 10 ME is considered exceptional hay.


Mr Ford said more growers were recognising the value of producing good quality hay.


“The fodder industry is big business and there can be a significant price difference between getting it right and getting it wrong,” he said.


“High quality hay means more money for a supplier and better outcomes for end users,” he said. “For example, what a dairy farmer feeds today directly impacts the amount of milk they produce tomorrow.”


Feed Central provides hay certification and marketing services to a national client base and has marketed and sold more than 100,000 tonnes of quality assured hay in the past 12 months.

For comment: Tim Ford, Feed Central 07 4630 4899 or 0429 309 256 For winner contacts: Rick Bayne, Mediamasters, 0418 140489