DRY conditions in some parts of South Gippsland have forced local farmers to rethink their harvest strategies with the result that they are unlikely to have the silage and hay boost they were hoping to get.
At Leongatha South, Warren Redmond said he expected to have a third less rolls than he had last year with paddocks he expected to be able to lock up for silage and hay now having to be put back into grazing and directly into milk production.
“We never have to look at buying in hay but it likely we’ll have to do it this year,” said Warren last week.
“We’ve got 2000 rolls done so far and hopefully we can get 4000 but it will depend on the weather over the next week or two. You can already see the grass starting to go off.
“It has been good quality but just not as much as we would like.”
The story is different right across the district with some of the farms in the hills getting enough rain at the right time, while other areas, especially closer to the coast, have missed out.
Whatever the case, both dairy farmers and beef producers are placing a high priority on silage and hay stocks this year with predictions of a dry summer and autumn ahead.
Thankfully there looks like being plenty of supplies coming out of the Victorian grain belt where they have cut crops for hay instead of harvesting them for grain. And with good grain harvests in both NSW and Queensland, grain prices look like being reasonable as well.
But, all the better if you can grow the feed yourselves and in the past couple of weeks it has been all hands on deck to get as much silage and hay in as possible.
What we’d all like to see now is a good burst of rain.