How to produce high yielding, high quality hay that meets market demand

Janine Batters

At BCG’s Main Field Day on Wednesday the 13th of September at Kinnabulla, BCG’s livestock and fodder specialist Alison Frischke will share how to produce high yielding, quality cereal hay.

“While the seasonal outlook for spring could be better for grain production, it’s my hope that growers can capture what could be ideal conditions to produce quality hay that meets market expectations. I will be talking growers through which agronomic levers to pull to maximise quality as well as yield.”

Ms Frischke’s presentation will cover the influence of sowing time and plant density, nitrogen rates, variety selection, regulating plant growth and grazing effects, time of cutting and saprophyte management on different hay quality parameters.

“I’m looking forward to sharing how to get the timing and quantity of nitrogen right as we know that nitrogen affects quality. You want enough N to drive biomass and colour, but not too much that it affects quality by increasing fibre and lowering the water-soluble carbohydrates, meaning you lower digestibility and energy which is what buyers are looking for as it drives animal intake and production.

“Varieties will also be a highlight with IMI tolerant Archer and Kingbale new to the market, which will benefit crop rotations and the control of brome and barley grass in crop, as well as new varieties Wallaby, Kultarr and Koala,” Ms Frischke concluded.

Ms Frischke’s presentation will be one of many concurrent sessions occurring throughout the morning of the event. Each session is designed for farmers and advisers showcasing the latest in local agronomic research, including disease management, new varieties, new herbicide technology, nutrition and farming systems.

Following the in-field sessions, growers and advisers will come together in the marquee to hear from Michaela Alexander from the Bureau of Meteorology who will explain the latest climate tools available, Peter Hayman from PIRSA-SARDI who will discuss the risk versus reward of on-farm decision making and Tony Catt from Catapult Wealth presenting Passing the baton in succession planning.

As part of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub North West Node, this year the BCG Main Field Day will have a focus on how farmers can build resilience in times of drought. By gaining information regarding best practice and the latest advances in research, agronomy and chemistry the event aims to provide attendees with the tools needed to capitalise in good years and weather the bad.

The event will begin at 9am with onsite catering available from lunch through to drinks at the conclusion of the day.

The event will be held at BCG’s Main Research Site at Kinnabulla, seven kilometres west of Kinnabulla on Kinnabulla West Road. This event is free for BCG members and $50 for non-members. To become a member, visit For more information on becoming a member or regarding the field day call (03) 5492 2787.

This event is part funded through the BCG managed North West Broadacre node of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, which is supported by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

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