Hay season strong in northern Victoria

Agronomists and hay buyers are forecasting above average hay yields in northern Victoria this spring.

With above average rainfall forecast for the spring and reservoirs nearly full, broadacre and irrigation farmers are looking forward to a good season — unless weather conditions take a bad turn.

Mallee Hay acquisitions officer Glenn McKissack said south-western Victoria and around the Goulburn Valley had enjoyed good seasonal rains and should experience excellent growth.

He said some crops south of Charlton were exceptional and should achieve six tonne or more per acre.

The experience is different in north-western Victoria, where Mr McKissack said conditions had been very dry and some crops were almost “going backwards”.

“They’ve only had about six inches of growing season rain.”

Mallee Hay — a division of Pentarch Agricultural — is based in Ultima, west of Swan Hill, and annually exports about 60,000 tonnes of mostly oaten hay.

Mr McKissack said most of the exported hay goes to Asian countries and China was one of their biggest customers.