Cropping

Hay shed build boom

By Country News

Victorian hay shed construction has surged off the back of a record 2019 fodder harvest.

Sales of hay sheds are on track to double this season according to shed manufacturer Entegra, which by April had already sold 65 per cent of the total number of hay sheds it sold in 2019.

Hay shed construction is the fastest growing business category for the company, which manufactures all types of agricultural and industry sheds.

“A lot of farmers had so much hay at the end of harvest that it was stacked up to 10 bales high in the paddocks,” Entegra general manager Laurie McCalman said.

“This has been an incredible turnaround in a region which had gone through severe drought and then a flood during the 2018 harvest.

“This past season, record prices encouraged hay production and now it is flowing through to on-farm investment.”

Pre-engineered structural hay sheds which can store from 1000 to 2500 bales have proved a hit, according to Mr McCalman.

“Farmers want their sheds installed faster; and thanks to the introduction of the kits, this has been possible,” he said.

Customised hay sheds have also been popular with growers.

Mr McCalman said some sheds up to 7.5 m high were constructed because farmers had the machinery to stack bales at that level and it was also cost-effective.

“For example, if you increase the height of a 2500 bale shed from 6 m to 7.5 m you can store at least an additional 300 bales of hay,” he said.

“So, we’ve just introduced the 2800-bale hay shed for this season.”

Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) chief executive officer John McKew said the rise in hay shed sales was good news for the industry.

“A well-constructed shed adds value to stored fodder and this provides a quality and consistent product for our customers,” he said.