Our farming practices are sustainable, we use the latest machinery, equipment and technology on the market to ensure our hay is a consistent, high quality product.
Mudgee Hay Company is a subscriber and member of AFIA (Australian Fodder Industry Association)
Seed to Feed
A paddock is selected for a specific crop to be planted and soil analysis tests are taken to determine if there are any nutrient deficiencies. When results are received, the agronomist confirms the soil is healthy or if it I lacking any nutrients recommends application of a fertiliser or trace elements.
If the paddock has been fallowed for an extended period it may be necessary to spray for weeds.
Depending on the crop to be sown, the paddock may be ploughed to allow rain to penetrate into the soil profile.
When rain is received and further rain is forecasted, that's the perfect time to sow a crop.
Seed is selected specifically for its suitability for Mudgee's climate, soil type and the crop production.
Seed is sown with a direct drill or band seeder and at the same time it is rolled into the ground.
Now the paddock is ready for rain.
Once the seed is germinated, the crop requires sufficient water and sunlight to grow. Throughout dry periods, an irrigator is used to water the crops, to ensure production and quality levels are maintained.
At maturity, crops are harvested with a mower conditioner. This machine cuts the crop and forces it through rollers which bruise the plant stem allowing quicker evaporation of moisture from the stem. The crop is left in windrows on the paddock.
Raking allows the crop to be turned to aid in the drying process to ensure hay is evenly dried. For heavy crops such as oats, we use a tedder rake which distributes the windrows evenly across the paddock increasing its surface area and drying time. We then put the crop back into windrows ready for the next step, baling.
After 5-8 days drying time, the crop is baled into small squares, rounds or large squares of hay, dependant on market requirements. Each type of bale type requires a different machine which is driven by a tractor.
Baling takes place around dew point (either in the morning or night) so that leaf and/or grain is maintained on the stem.
If hay is baled too dry it scrunches up like chaff, too wet it goes mouldy and if it is too green (not properly cured) the bales get hot and can spontaneously combust.
Hay is stored in large storage sheds ready for market. If hay is exposed to sunlight it can cause bleaching to the bale of hay (green turns to yellow) however it does not have a significant impact on the quality of the hay.
Mudgee Hay Company has a truck and trailer which can transport in excess of 500 small square bales of hay at one time and can deliver throughout New South Wales.
For larger orders, we arrange transport as required to provide a cost effective transport solution for our clients.
People can also purchase and collect hay direct from our farms in Mudgee.