Ballarat farmers enjoy a bumper hay season

SIGNIFICANT rainfall has led to a bumper hay season for Ballarat farmers.

Despite hundreds of bales cropping up on paddocks on the outskirts of town, farmers say they are still recouping from a poor season last year. 

Bald Hills dairy farmer Kerry Gallagher blamed a lack of rainfall in 2012 for the slow start to the season. 

“We had an average harvest coming into 2013, from 2012,” Mrs Gallagher said. 

“There was a lack of quality in the hay bales in the area.

“Although we have made a lot of hay ourselves, we have still gone out and bought hay for our milk cows.”

But Mrs Gallagher said things turned around mid last-year. 

“Today, I’ve never seen so many hay bales in the area,” she said. 

Potato farmer Greg Toohey said it has been one of the best years for hay production. 

“It’s been a good season. It rained. That’s the recipe to get things to grow,” Mr Toohey said.

However not all of the hay will be used. 

"I've never seen so many hay bales"

“A lot of will be stored, not sold,” he said. 

“Farmers keep it for their own use, but the sheds have been empty from last year.” 

Mr Toohey said the price of hay varied, but today sat at $150 to $200 a tonne.

“So a bale of hay could cost $60 to $80,” he said.

The Springbank farmer said he produced double the amount hay this season. 

“I have about 500 bales, which is up 100 per cent on last year,” Mr Toohey said.

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