THE HAYMAKER: Rosehill lucerne grower Joe Gray.
THE HAYMAKER: Rosehill lucerne grower Joe Gray. Toni Somes

Not making hay because the sun is shining

ALL things being equal dry weather should mean a shortage of paddock feed which, in turn, should be a good omen for haymakers like Rosehill's Joe Gray.

But the local farmer explained the reality was even lucerne growers needed rain and ideally they needed it regularly.

Mr Gray said demand for quality bales had been rising steadily since the middle of the year, as grass country, improved pasture and forage dried off.

"We are all at the mercy of the elements," he said.

"So there is not a lot of subsoil moisture for lucerne and, like everybody else, we really need rain to get a better cut."

He has 32ha (80ac) of cultivation under lucerne along Lyndhurst Lane with just a section of his crop irrigated.

This month he has measured just 15mm in a single rainfall event.

"There is definitely plenty of inquiry, but price for good quality lucerne is still steady around $10 and $12," Mr Gray said.

The Bush Tele caught up with the Warwick haymaker, who also contract bales for other growers, at Tuesday's cattle sale where he was shopping for quality weaners.

He admitted buying in cattle suggested he was feeling relatively optimistic about the season outlook heading into summer.

"But I won't make any predictions. If the experts can't get it right, then someone like me has no hope."



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