Steep Gully Produce awarded best hay in Queensland
GLENORE Grove Hay producers Gavin and Fiona Thorne have been named as one of Queensland's best hay makers for 2015-16.
The winners of the Feed Central National Hay Quality competition for 2015-16 were announced at a pre-harvest event in Toowoomba on September 14.
Other winners came from Chinchilla, Jandowae and Inglewood.
The Victoria, New South Wales and national winners are to be announced later this month.
The winners were recognised for the visual appearance and feed analysis tests of their crops.
The Thornes, from Steep Gully Produce, won the feed analysis test for lucerne crops while Troy Brownhall from Jandowae won the same category for cereal crops.
Mark Wright from Inglewood had the best visual appearance score in the state for a lucerne crop.
Ken Schmidt from the Nine Mile Unit Trust at Chinchilla won the visual appearance category for his oaten hay.
Mr Schmidt also won the award in 2014.
There were more than 650 lots competing nationally for the awards. In total, 188,258 tonnes were inspected with an average lot size of 289 tonne.
Feed Central managing director Tim Ford said the competition again attracted high-quality entries from across Australia.
"The awards recognise and encourage growers to aim for high-quality hay,” Mr Ford said.
"They help to set a bench- mark of quality that will improve the consistency of hay in Australia, which leads to better returns for suppliers and better outcomes for end users.”
The competition is the only competition in Australia based on commercial lots of large square and round bales that are genuinely for sale.
Mr Ford said the quality of hay in Queensland was improving year on year, with growers improving their production practices.
He said Queensland's dry spring in 2015 allowed for some excellent hay to be made and the good growers are managing to mitigate the risks of weather damage.
Hay listed with Feed Central in preparation for sale is inspected on-farm by a certified Feed Central inspector and is eligible for entry in the competition.