MEDIA RELEASE: The Australian Fodder Industry Association

Friday 25 October, 2013

Patience the key to curing frosted cereal hay

Following the widespread frost damage to crops throughout areas of New South Wales and Victoria, the Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) is reminding growers considering hay as an option for frosted crops to make a sure their hay is properly cured to avoid haystack fires.

“We’ve seen frosts hit cereal crops through NSW and Victoria, starting south of Dubbo moving right through to central Victoria. This is leaving many farmers with the tough decision of whether to cut crops for hay now or take them through to harvest” said AFIA Executive Officer Darren Keating.

“If the call is made to cut there are a number of things to consider including access to hay making equipment or contractors and marketing options, but you also need to remember the basics on making hay. Once the decision is made to cut the crop get it done as soon as possible conserve as much of the nutritional quality in the hay as you can. However once the crop is cut you need to be patient to ensure that hay is properly cured. Remember there is no set number of days the hay needs to sit before you bale it” Mr Keating said.

“Getting curing right is important as we don’t want to see hay shed fires resulting from poorly cured hay. If you are unsure talk to your local agronomist or work with your contractor to make sure your moisture levels are right” continued Mr Keating.

“There are also some simple tests you can do yourself to check such as looking at head emergence and the “bulbar test”. More information on curing hay can be found on the AFIA website in the Fodder Care Fact sheet – Knowledge, patience and experience the cure for quality hay” concluded Mr Keating.

To download a copy click Fodder Care Fact Sheet – Knowledge, patience and experience the cure for quality hayor contact the AFIA office  on 03 9530 2199