Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Fodder talk at Rochester

Dairy farmers, hay contract and feed companies were represented at a fodder in dairy workshop held at Rochester and Elmore last week.

June 24, 2014 3:08am

Chris and Reannan Pedley, Rochester share farmers.

Dairy farmers, hay contractors and feed companies were represented at a fodder in dairy workshop held at Rochester and Elmore last week.

The day had a particularly strong representation from young dairy farmers and hay producers, who heard farmer Tom Acocks discuss his approach to feed and nutrition, heard a presentation from a ruminant nutritionist and checked out the large hay making operation, Jenharwill Baling, near Elmore.

Organised by the Australian Fodder Industry Association with the support of Murray Dairy, it was aimed at attracting younger farmers and producers.

Industry development manager Caitlin Scholfield said she was thrilled with the number of young farmers representing both fodder and dairy industries.

‘‘I think we had about 80 per cent young farmers from both fodder and dairy industry in the 40 attending,’’ Ms Scholfield said.

‘‘I think that’s exciting for both industries and an important step for farmers wanting to collaborate early in their careers.

‘‘It was a great opportunity to create networks and talk in the same language about hay, silage and nutrition.’’

She said AFIA and the dairy industry would be looking at similar events in the future following the success of last week.

The Jenharwill Baling business grows about 8000tonnes of hay on about 3000ha near Elmore. It exports about 40 per cent of its production.

Director Charlie Williams told farmers and growers one of the keys to making good hay was cutting when the crop was ready.

‘‘There’s an optimum time to cut. After that, the nutritional value drops away,’’ Mr Williams said.

‘‘Even if you think it might rain tomorrow, cut it when it’s best and just deal with the weather when it comes.’’

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