This month, our Adelaide Hills Farmcast is focussed on hay.
It’s been a very long and wet season and we need to consider the implications for fodder availability in the new year.
I rang my good friend, James Stacey from Bremer River Fodder and chatted to him about what it all means.
Unfortunately there is no good news however there are ways that you can mitigate the risks if you rely on hay to feed your stock so we’ve covered that in this month’s Farmcast.
And finally, I chat with Jane Somers from Big Sky Flowers in Brukunga. I’m so inspired by what she is achieving on a small property and in a relatively short space of time.
We hope you find this show helpful and welcome your comments below or email Belle or Pods at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can play the episode, below, or search for Adelaide Hills Farmcast in your favourite podcast app, on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
00:00 Adelaide Hills Farmcast November Edition
02:14 Adelaide Hills Farm Almanac / Farm Calendar
Hay & Horse Fodder!
- It’s not going to come as a surprise that the industry is forecasting significant shortages of hay this season. And what hay that is available will potentially be at a lower quality and yet, more expensive to buy. There are a number of reasons that will contribute to this. Firstly and most obviously, we’ve had a very wet finish to the growing season. Many paddocks have been cut but in the process of curing further Spring rains have lead to a decrease in the quality of the hay. In addition to the wet weather, there has been a significant increase in the cost of fertiliser, chemicals and of course, diesel.
- It’s more important than ever to source your hay from a hay producer or trader who is able to provide you with a feedtest. This will ensure that you’re buying hay that will meet your needs. For example, there is a big difference in the type of hay you need to purchase if you’re just wanting it for roughage or to grow out stock. The Feedtest website provides some good information on Metabolisable Energy and Crude Protein levels of various grains and hays. It’s well worth a look.
- If you want accurate information on the nutritional needs of your stock, Agriculture Victoria have a handy feed calculator you can check out here.
- Every year, James Stacey from Bremer River Fodder says that initial sales of small hay bales is quite slow. However demand skyrockets in the new year when paddock grasses bare off and supplementary feeding begins. This sudden increase in demand – particularly in years like this one when supply is low, will mean many buyers can be caught out. Of course, this can be avoided by planning ahead, buying in advance of when you know you are going to need it. Growers will usually store any pre-bought hay until you need it.
- It’s official. My strawberry crop is a fail. Last year it was rabbits so I thought I’d get clever and plant strawberries in hanging baskets. This year, it’s Magpies. It seems I can’t win. I think I’d better leave it to the experts like Green Valley Strawberries!
- I spotted a great product in amongst Jon Lamb’s Good Gardening newsletter this week. It’s called Potstream. It’s It’s a side mounted watering solution for potted plants and containers. The distributor has some great information and a very clear diagram of how you can potentially set it up. You can download the Poststream Factsheet here or go to their website. I couldn’t find too many local distributors however Brighton Irrigation seems to be your best bet.
Spot & Boom Spraying
It can be a tricky time of year to be spraying selective herbicides like MCPA or Dicamba. You don’t need to go too far in the Adelaide Hills to find a vineyard and with vines budding up now, there is a real risk of spray drift if the utmost caution isn’t taken. This is where engaging a fully qualified and insured spray technician (like Pods!) becomes so important. Please, please be carful if you’re spraying your own paddocks at the moment and if in doubt, talk to whoever you buy your chemicals from or have a chat with Pods.