Saturday, March 12, 2016

New co-op seeks to export hay

The Ontario Forage Council has formed the Ontario Forage and Hay Cooperative to look for export markets for hay. 

Co-op chairman Fritz Trauttmansdorff of Wellington County says new, cheaper on-farm hay-drying systems are making hay an attractive cash crop.

“Logistics are changing in our favour so that gives us an opening to put hay as a sustainable cash crop into our corn, beans and wheat rotation and it’s good for our soils and hopefully for our pocketbooks,” he told CKNX, Wingham. 

The hay cooperative plans to create a central compacting facility for hay dried on farm.

First the co-op is planning a feasibility study, then will develop a business plan and then start seeking export markets.

Trauttmansdorff says China alone imports $3 billion worth of hay a year.

If a lucrative export market can be developed, putting hay into crop rotations will improve soil quality, reduce erosion and sequester carbon.