Cropping

Cover up to protect new-season hay

By Country News

Hay makers are being warned to pay attention to moisture levels at baling if cutting drought-affected or frosted cereal crops.

Hay Caps inventor Phil Snowden said this was important because the value and quality of this year’s hay was very high, prompting farmers to make extra hay.

‘‘In 2007 there were a lot of haystack fires due to the higher than normal sugar content found in drought-affected crops,’’ Mr Snowden said.

‘‘Once baled these crops are more prone to spontaneous combustion.

‘‘It is paramount to get the hay dried right down before baling, including looking right through the stem on immature crops.

‘‘Then protecting these bales from rain is the next step as moisture into the stack reacts with the high sugar content of the hay leading to the spontaneous combustion.’’

Having been in the hay industry for more than 30 years, Mr Snowden invented a simple and safe way to cover large bale stacks of hay — Hay Caps.

‘‘Hay Caps are applied at ground level to the bale and then the covered bale is placed on top as the stack is built,’’ he said.

‘‘The Hay Caps are proving themselves within the industry to be a very affordable option and have the ability to cover any volume of hay safely from the ground and be reused year after year.’’

For more information, phone Hay Caps on 1800429227 or visit: www.haycap.com.au