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Mt Talbingo Pastoral Company Pty Ltd
Rob Bennett & Sons

Hay Making

This is a service Rob Bennett & Sons provide to farmers and landowners/leasers in the Yarra Valley. The process of hay making has one enormous starting factor - THE WEATHER. We are constantly monitoring the forecast for periods of rain, strong winds and hot weather to determine when the paddock should be mown.

The process of Hay Making includes:-

      We prefer paddocks to be level as possible to ensure consistent cutting and to minimize damage to machinery which can result in downtime.
      If necessary this enables the mown hay to dry rapidly. We use this machine particularly in silage making.
      We use either single or twin rotor i.e. 3.5 or 7.3 meter width rake. This is a very important aspect of hay making and the experience of the operator is vital for the next step.
      Here we have the latest JD Round Baler, the 592 model. We can either do silage in 4x4 or meadow hay rolls 5x4 using good quality wrap.
    Silage Wrapping
      We have the most up to date twin satellite wrapper available. Ensuring correct operation, we can keep up with the round bale production.
    Small Square Baling
        Here we can make well compacted even in length small bales with one high capacity New Holland Machine.

        On our irrigation farm in NSW we use a bale accumulator, as a hay carting aid for a one man operation. However in the Yarra Valley we have a hay carting crew available to move the bales to the nearest shed or load them onto road transport to a different location.
    Sod Seeding & Direct Drilling
      This method can be used prior to 'lock up' stage of your hay paddock. By sowing annual rye grasses and clovers. Using this minimum till method significantly increases the yield and quantity, particularly if DAP or MAP fertiliser is applied at the same time. The ideal time for this process is late autumn to allow the seed to establish.

      The hay making operation doesn't start with the mower driver opening the gate to 'drop' the paddock.

      Proper preparation of the hay paddocks by the client is vital to ensure success with the end product.

      This includes:-
      • Harrowing or smudging to level the ground and break up manure.
      • Adding fertiliser and lime to promote growth is recommended
      • Removing obstacles that can be hidden by the long grass prior to mowing
      • Locking up the hay paddock allowing plenty of time for the pasture or planted crop to mature so that maximum quantity is achieved. (The Yarra Valley can, in a good season, produce up to 250 small square bales to the hectare, or 15 5x4 round bales).
      • Spraying - it is essential to manage weed growth in hay paddocks. Controlling weeds can be achieved by boom spraying at lock up stage and during the growth period. This method allows the weeds to die and the pasture crop to come back to 'bulk up'.
        When the bales are opened and fed out in the autumn or winter, the last thing you want is to contaminate other paddocks with weeds.