Hay quality impresses
Marlborough agricultural contractor David Brydon says the quality of hay and baleage this season is excellent but the quantity is well down.
Mr Brydon of Dave & Phil Big Bale Contracting said this was a below-average season for harvesting pasture for supplements after an above-average season last year. Dry and clear weather meant he cut less than usual but conditions were perfect for making nutritious hay and baleage.
As well as contracting to farmers, Mr Brydon made hay on leased properties around Marlborough to sell to farmers. Big bales were worth about $50 to $60 which was about $5 up on last season, he said. Most of the supplements went to clients in Marlborough and some was trucked to Nelson and Kaikoura. He also sold lucerne hay to North Island farmers, in feed-tight years.
Dairy farmers were the biggest buyers and a few sheep farmers also bought hay.
Mr Brydon started making baleage in October, hay through November and December and this month started harvesting grain crops.
The Jordan family of Willowhaugh Farm at Woodbourne make all their own hay.
Kate Jordan said the family baled enough lucerne, meadow-hay and straw to feed their sheep and cattle.
"It has been an average season for supplements after a couple of wet summers," she said.
The Marlborough Express