Cropping

High moisture hay is the way

By Jamie Salter

As cropping farmers are beginning to make high-moisture hay, industry representatives say using an inoculant is the key to achieving a high-quality product.

An inoculant acts to stop hay from heating and prevents haystack fires — enabling hay to be baled at a higher quality.

Grevillia Ag business development manager Rohan Ingram said using a dedicated hay inoculant allowed farmers and contractors to bale at moisture levels up to 25 per cent.

“Farmers can bale sooner, at a higher moisture level, achieving a higher feed value in the hay,” Mr Ingram said.

“When you're baling at higher moisture levels, you're getting a better quality product and you don't have to let the hay cure out for as long after the hay is cut.

“The feedback from farmers is that it has helped them fine-tune their program to get hay in the bale earlier, helping beat rain events and to achieve better quality feed value.”

Manufactured in Australia, the Si-Lac hay inoculant has been developed for farmers to use as insurance against haystack fires.

Hay and silage consultant Ashley Dempster agreed this was the year of the tedder rake and the inoculant for silage or high-moisture hay.

“The tedder rake lifts the hay off the ground and skins the stem of the plant and lays it out flat,” Mr Dempster said.

“It is the best mechanical method to dry out hay or silage, and teddering is really good after a rain event to help dry it out and stop it from going mouldy."

Mr Dempster said NSW Local Land Services’ recent webinar series provided vital information for farmers on high-moisture hay.

The webinars featured NSW Department of Primary Industries expert John Piltz.

● To view the recording of the webinars, visit the Local Land Services YouTube channel.