Home' Yarram Standard : November 9th 2016 Contents PAGE 10 - “THE YARRAM STANDARD” Wednesday, November 9, 2016
On the job: farmers and contractors around the district were racing against time and
weather to complete their silage harvest at the weekend. Harvesters were going flat out
to get the crops wrapped in a pit before the forecasted rain and cooler weather hit on
Sunday afternoon. Local farmers have reported the prospects of a great harvest season
with above average rains in October. Balook reported 206.4mm for the month which has
taken the yearly total to 1344.2mm compared to 992.2 up until the same time last year.
Yarram Parkside weather station recorded 71.6mm of rain with the yearly total standing
FARMERS in the Yarram region have
been boosted by a bumper silage season
this year, with both yield and quality a
huge improvement on previous years.
Decent winter and spring rainfall has led to
plenty of home grown fodder, which is in stark
contrast to last year’s crops.
Devon North agricultural contractor Thomas
Haymes said more follow up rain is needed now,
to ensure a good hay season.
“We have definitely cut more silage this year
compared to previous years and the quality is bet-
ter as well,” he said.
“I think it has been a better than normal year
in some cases.”
Thomas said people who shut up their hay
crops early will benefit this year, particularly if
some more rain falls.
“We have a lot of hay lined up already,” he
Areas like Binginwarri have had a particularly
wet winter, with some paddocks only just starting
to become accessible to machinery.
“We are still doing silage up in Binginwarri,
so their hay season is still a couple of months
away,” Thomas said.
“Even at Devon North is has been a bit wet,
but the rest of the stuff we have done has been dry
This year’s crops have been a welcome relief
for farmers, many of whom had to spend big dol-
lars buying in fodder last year.
Thomas said cattle are milking better this year
with feed in the paddocks and farmers are feeling
more confident with silage in the shed.
“It is a lot cheaper and easier to grow your
own silage and hay at home and it reduces the
requirement to buy in outside fodder,” he said.
Thomas said if farmers do need to buy in
feed this season, it should be cheaper than in
Heading into summer, Thomas said follow up
rain is needed, coupled with warmer temperatures
and less wind.
“If it got a bit hotter, that would be better for
grass growth, which is a bit slow at the moment.
The wind tends to dry grass out, without helping
it grow,” he said.
“The surface of the soil is getting a bit dry,
but there is still plenty of subsoil moisture
Thomas said they started cutting silage around
two months ago and expects the season to last an-
other fortnight or so, when hay will start.
“As soon as the weather is right we will start
cutting hay, there are already paddocks to be cut,”
Yarram agricultural contractor Wayne Bowden
said what the season needs now is more rain,
combined with decent drying periods, to ensure
a good hay crop.
“We could still keep getting the rain we are
getting, however we are not quite getting long
enough opportunities to get hay dry,” he said.
“If we keep getting generally good rainfall
and drying periods of more than one or two days,
we should get some good hay done.”
Mr Bowden said most farmers will be pleased
to see a return to an “average silage season”.
“We are not going to get everybody to have a
bumper crop in the same year, but yield wise this
year has been mostly pretty good,” he said.
“It will be a catch up year to a point, although
dairy farmers have still got financial issues with
the milk price so they are certainly doing what
they can on farm.
“Home grown feed is cheaper than having to
buy it in. There is nothing more depressing than
trying to grow grass and see nothing happening,
so it is good to see it still growing well at the
Silage yield up
Bumper crop: Devon North agricultural contractor Thomas Haymes said this year’s silage
season has been better than in previous years and is looking forward to a similar hay season.
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