Cropping

How good is this Howlong farmer’s hay?

By Rodney Woods

Howlong's Richard Baker took advantage of the difficult conditions to dominate the 2018-19 Feed Central National Hay Quality Awards.

Mr Baker was awarded the national and NSW awards for the Best Cereal Hay Feed Test Analysis, as well as the Best Canola Hay Feed Test Analysis and the Best Cereal Hay Visual Appearance.

He said he was surprised by his results.

"I knew we had good hay but I didn’t realise it was that good."

Mr Baker said frosts, as well as dry conditions, had helped him achieve a personal best in terms of hay quality.

"(Our results were) mainly weather related.

"We put a lot of fertilisers on it and the frost locks in the sugar and makes better quality hay.

"We haven’t been near that quality before."

Mr Baker said the tough season had improved the quality.

"It makes better quality hay but it's harder to make it (in a tough season).

"Frosts make it hard to keep the sap out of it and there's less growth there which made better quality hay."