AFTER the wettest winter and spring on record it is shaping up to be a “challenging” hay-making season in the Riverina.
Joe Kingston of “Springvale”, The Rock in southern NSW was busy baling crops and pasture hay this week.
He said the wheaten hay was coming off well but the challenge was the current high moisture levels.
“It is still quite cold so the moisture shoots up,” he said.
Riverina producers were holding out for a run of fine weather – and some warmer temperatures – before the forecast rain arrives on Tuesday next week.
Despite the challenges and constant monitoring of the moisture content the Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) is tipping record tonnages will be baled this year.
AFIA chief executive officer John McKew said the association projected Australian fodder exports – predominantly oaten hay – to reach one million metric tonnes in 2016/17.
DPI seasonal conditions coordinator Ian McGowen said wet conditions had prompted a surge in pasture growth.
“Pasture growth continued to improve across most of the state, although waterlogging and inundation restricted or slowed pasture growth in some areas.” Mr McGowen said the conditions resulted in topsoil moisture remaining high across areas of the Riverina.