conservation of fodder is a seasonal activity on the farm. For
example, in much of NSW, 70% of the grass grows in the spring
resulting in feed difficulties for the remainder of the year. During
winter months the conservation of fodder is necessary if production
is to be maintained at an economic level. On the other hand, in the
wetter regions of South Australia subject to a Mediterranean climate,
rains occur during the winter period and therefore, the fodder is
conserved during the summer months. Hay is made as:
Part of the
normal feed plan
A cash crop.
objective of hay making is to transfer a seasonal feed surplus to the
less plentiful times of the year. Pasture growth is interrupted at a
stage when nutrient content is high and curing procedures minimise
nutrient loss. See the table below which shows the relative
efficiency of various types of hay making systems:
MATTER LOSSES IN HAY STORAGE WASTAGE IN STORAGE OVER 6 MONTHS
stacks of loose hay:
losses may add to wastage. The cost of hay making is substantial,
especially at lower volumes and the Econ fodder roll is the cheapest.
is one of the best substitutes for green pasture and will keep stock
in good condition, may be kept for an indefinite period without
deterioration and is easy to make and use.
silos are comparatively expensive but provide the best and most
convenient containers. The narrower and higher the silo, the better,
because the silage is more compact by reason of its own weight and a
smaller area is exposed to the air when used.
should be located near the feeding stalls and adjoining the feed
room. Grain silos are required to store grain for any length of time.
It should be fully matured on harvesting and free from excessive
moisture otherwise it may heat and moulds develop.
the case of cattle breeding, hay use is often as high as 0.5 tonnes
per cow. Because of the high cost there is a trend for dairy farmers
and beef producers to use their grass resources more efficiently so
as to reduce dependence on hay.
out commences in late summer to early autumn and continues for a 2-3
month period. This allows pasture the opportunity of growing into the
winter and therefore, available as a high quality feed for the late