GUNNEDAH lucerne farmer Peter Tull has been working around the clock to get his latest cut of hay off the paddocks while keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast.
As most farmers are desperately looking for rain to keep grazing country green and give canola and cereal crops a kick-along, Mr Tull has been making the most of the dry weather.
“The old adage, make hay while the sun shines, is spot on this week,” Mr Tull said .
Saying he’d had just a couple of millimetres of rain in the past few days, the farmer has cut 1500 small bales and 140 big bales this week.
Mr Tull said a tough winter this year had seen his yield fall slightly, but the high demand for hay across the region had kept him busy selling his stockpile.
“We’re just a bit down from last year, it’s been a cold winter with a bit of frost about.”
He keeps about 20 per cent of his product to feed out to his 70 head of charolais and droughtmaster steers but the rest gets sold.
The past few weeks, the farmer has sold about 3500 small bales, mainly to horse owners stocking up for the year ahead.
“It’s been a couple of weeks of sales madness,” he said.
Mr Tull gets a cut of oaten and lucerne hay every five to six weeks and when the sun shines, it’s all hands on deck, and Mr Tull’s 11-year-old twins Emmerson and Bailey don’t get spared.
“When Emmerson gets home from school, it’s straight into the work boots and out into the paddocks,” Mr Tull said.
Her pony Sharni’s welfare might have a bit to do with avid pony clubber Emmerson’s interest in hay though.
“She makes sure I get enough for her pony,” Mr Tull said.
The Bureau of Meteorology doesn’t have much hope for farmers who are keen for rain to finish off their winter crops.
Below average rainfall is predicted for the summer and a very low chance of significant falls throughout the next month.
The dry spring in Northern NSW and other areas of Australia is likely to further cut Australia crop forecasts, in spite of good rain in parts of southern NSW and north-east Victoria.