NORTH East farmers have been recognised as some of the best hay producers in the country, after the recent 2018 Feed Central National Hay Quality competition awarded national honours to three Victorian producers.
Col Radcliffe of Kerang and Tom Acocks of Rochester have won national titles in the competition, which recognise and encourage growers to aim for high quality hay.
Mr Radcliffe, of Tyisha Pastoral Company Kerang, was named national winner for the best vetch feed analysis crop – he also had Victoria’s best lucerne feed analysis test.
Mr Acocks, of M and H Acocks Rochester, had Australia’s best visual appearance lucerne crop.
Josh Lanyon of Boort was the other Victorian to win an award.
Mr Lanyon, of Lanyon Hay Making Boort, has had a remarkable run of success in the competition, winning national and state titles every year since 2015.
This year Mr Lanyon had the best visual appearance vetch hay crop in Australia and also won the Victorian titles for the best cereal visual appearance and feed analysis.
The national winners also won the Victorian titles for their respective categories.
The Feed Central National Hay Quality awards cover the 2017-18 season – and more than 400 lots were judged across Australia.
Feed Central managing director, Tim Ford, said the overall quality had returned to normal following a low-quality season the previous year.
Mr Ford said the awards were designed to encourage all producers to make the best possible hay and to honour the best in the business.
“The quality of hay has a direct impact on the performance of livestock and it’s always more profitable to eat good quality hay,” Mr Ford said.
“With dairy cattle in particular, good quality hay will have a dramatic improvement in milk production and beef cattle also respond better.
“Good quality hay makes money for the end user.”
The Feed Central National Hay Quality competition was the only one of its type based on commercial quantities and qualities.
Each feed test category is based on energy and protein analysis.