GippsDairy is warning farmers to test hay quality, with some loads arriving with low metabolisable energy (ME).
GippsDairy regional extension officer Karen Romano said farmers in the Macalister Irrigation District (MID) had reported poor quality deliveries of early hay.
“With farmers in the MID chasing fodder, we’ve had reports of low standard loads of northern hay coming in,” she said.
“It’s important that each load is tested, otherwise you might not be getting what you paid for and what the cows need.
"Even though farmers are purchasing hay at a given feed test, when the load arrives and is retested, it has been one to two ME lower than when it was ordered.”
Hay market analyst Colin Peace said most of the hay tested in Gippsland in recent times had energy levels under 8 units of ME and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) levels above 50 per cent.
He said farmers have been preferring lucerne hay over vetch hay during winter due to the better curing conditions and quality.