National Hay Safe Day 2017

Media Release

19 October 2017

National Hay Safe Day, a day focusing on safety in the hay and silage industry, is on Wednesday October 25. In the lead up to National Hay Safe Day, the Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) is asking everyone involved in the fodder industry to run through the “Make sure your workplace is HAY SAFE” checklist every day with all of your all workers/operators and family members.

With the 2017 fodder harvest already underway, that often means people working long hours resulting in fatigue and when this happens it’s all too easy to overlook or forget about safety and this can have disastrous consequences.

It can only take a split-second for something to go wrong and put the safety of a business owner, employees, family members or the public at risk. That’s why AFIA is asking everyone involved in making and transporting hay and silage to take the opportunity to run through the “Make sure your workplace is HAY SAFE” checklist every day.

That checklist includes:

  • Machinery is securely shutdown before maintenance occurs.
  • Adequate safety guards are fitted to machinery.
  • Fire extinguishers and first aid kits are functional and located close to baling operations.
  • Prominent signage warning of the dangers of falling bales clearly displayed in hay sheds.
  • Prominent signage warning of the dangers of moving vehicles displayed in hay sheds.
  • Warning signs clearly displayed on all machinery.
  • Plant operators are familiar with relevant safety procedures.
  • All caution lights and reversing alarms are operational on machinery. 
  • Dry flammable crop materials are regularly removed from build-up areas on machinery.
  • Operators are familiar with changing work environments and possible hazards such as power lines and poles.

Remember work health and safety is everyone’s responsibility, and we want everyone to take on the Hay Safe Day messages, making safety a focus and helping to prevent accidents from happening in your hay or silage business.

If you would like a copy of our “CAUTION! Be Aware of Falling Bales” poster on email to print out and place around your workplace, please email John at AFIA This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click this image to download a copy.

Don’t forget to share your National Hay Safe Day initiatives and thoughts on AFIA’s social media platforms, via Twitter @AusFodder and Facebook @Ausfodder

National Hay Safe Day is the initiative Suzanne Woods an AFIA member, Director, fodder grower and hay exporter from Calingiri in Western Australia. Tragically on October 25, 2009, Suzanne lost her father in an accident on their farm.

For more information on safety in the Australia fodder industry please contact the AFIA office on (03) 9670 0523 or visit www.afia.org.au

Media Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AFIA 2017 National Fodder Conference Wrap-up

Media Release

16 August 2017

The Gold Coast sun shone bright and warm last week at the RACV Royal Pines Resort to welcome over 200 delegates to the annual Australian Fodder Industry Association’s (AFIA) 2017 National Fodder Conference.  With a theme of ‘Feeding Innovation, Growing Success’, delegates were treated to an outstanding program of speakers who shared information and expertise on a wide range of topics.  Opened by Mrs Kay Hull, the Chair of the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation, the conference program unfolded with key note addresses from Dr Jonathon Reich from Alforex Seeds in the USA talking about the global breeding program for lucerne and Professor Mark Howden from Australian National University on adapting Australian agriculture systems to a changing climate.

Massey Ferguson, as major conference sponsors, went all out with a world exclusive appearance of its new ultra-high density baler, the MF2370UHD.  This machine generated a lot of interest, parked on the lawn amongst a range of other equipment from Krone, New Holland, John Deere, Lely, JCB and Manitou.  The MF2370UHD is not available just yet but by the number of delegates looking over it, interest was certainly peaked for its arrival in 2018.  As always, the machinery display at this year’s conference was a real draw-card for delegates and proved a remarkable backdrop to pre-dinner drinks on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday delegates heard from both Meat & Livestock Australia and Dairy Australia on the situation and outlook for both the red meat and dairy industries.  Following these presentations, Dr Andy Sheppard from CSIRO spoke about the future opportunities for using gene technology in pest and weed management.

On Wednesday afternoon, Lallemand Animal Nutrition and AFIA launched their new partnership program, the Lallemand Animal Nutrition Gen Ag Future Fund which will see $3,000 awarded annually by Lallemand Animal Nutrition in association with AFIA to an AFIA Gen Ag member to assist with further education or costs to undertake a specific project that will benefit the Australian fodder industry.

And this is just a few of the many highlights from a packed two day conference.

The conference social functions were highlights for many, providing relaxed opportunities to catch up with friends and colleagues and to celebrate the success of the fodder industry.

In 2018 the National Fodder Conference returns to South Australia to the Adelaide Convention Centre from 6-8 August 2018.  Put it in your diary now.

Media Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Fodder Industry Association
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Register now for the 2017 National Fodder Conference

Media Release

12 July 2017

Registrations will close soon for the Australian Fodder Industry Association’s 2017 National Fodder Conference.  The theme for the 2017 Conference is ‘Feeding Innovation, Growing Success’.  The 2017 program will contain information to engage and stimulate everyone.  With a line-up of thought-provoking speakers and topics as well as plenty of opportunity for delegate interaction with exhibitors and sponsors, you and your business are assured to gain insights and connections from participating in the 2017 National Fodder Conference.

In addition to the conference speaking program and various workshops, the conference also comprises social functions including the Welcome Cocktail Function and the Annual Conference Dinner, great opportunities to connect with new and existing clients in a relaxed atmosphere as well as reconnecting with your fellow fodder industry friends.

The Chair of the Rural Industries R&D Corporation, Mrs Kay Hull AM, will officially open the conference on Tuesday 8 August 2017.  Kay is a Riverina personality, business woman, community leader and former Federal Member of Parliament.

Dr Johnathon Reich from Alforex Seeds in the USA will provide the key note address at conference on Tuesday afternoon, 8 August.  Dr Reich has been involved in the global seed industry for 33 years.  During that time he has worked as a plant breeder, research director, and corporate officer overseeing R&D activities, seed conditioning operations, and as a member of business management teams.

Don’t miss out on the most important Australian fodder industry event for 2017, the 2017 National Fodder Conference.  To register, please visit www.afia.org.auor contact the AFIA office on (03) 9670-0523.

Lock the dates away now, 7-9 August 2017, and join us for the 2017 National Fodder Conference at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland.

Conference registrations close on Wednesday 26 July 2017; don’t miss out, register now.

AFIA Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Fodder Industry Association
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Balancing the diet” the focus of the third AFIA Our Place Workshop

Media Release

20 June 2017

The Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA), in partnership with TPC Agriculture, is delighted to announce their third Our Place workshop to be held at Chris and Sharon Hughes farm, 230 Egans Road, Koonwarra (near Leongatha) in Gippsland, Victoria on Thursday 29 June 2017 from 11.30am.

High production and good feed conversion is crucial for Chris and Sharon Hughes. They run a 210 cow autumn calving herd and last year the cows produced an average production of 8,000L and 650kgMS on a diet of mainly grass, grain in the bale and silage when grass supplementation was required.

Chris rolls his own pasture silage with a McHale baler and likes the control and flexibility this provides over bailing time so he can produce better quality fodder. The ultimate aim is to make the best quality fodder for the cow and when it comes time to feed out the fodder, he balances the grain inputs to manage any deficiencies. 

With the support of his consultant the diet is always under assessment; when the diet is primarily grass he will add starch to soak up excess protein and when fodder is being fed out there will be more protein and energy in the grain ration to balance and make the most of the fermentable fibre in the silage. 

Chris also employs biological fertiliser programs, shorter than industry average rotation lengths, feeds lots of minerals and maximises dry matter intake. 

Join us on Thursday 29 June 2017 from 11.30amto learn more about:

  • Fodder production timing to improve quality.
  • Making fodder for the cow’s requirements.
  • Maximising fodder intake.
  • Balancing grain rations to available fodder.
  • How to get the most out of your cows for the best return on investment.

“AFIA is very pleased to be providing these workshops in association with TPC Agriculture, helping dairy farmers to maximise the potential of the fodder they produce or buy to get the best results from their herds,” said John McKew, AFIA Chief Executive Officer.

“This workshop, the third of ten in a collaborative effort by AFIA and TPC Agriculture, aims to assist dairy farmers in these challenging times, and we encourage AFIA members and non-members to participate in as many workshops as possible to realise their full potential,” urged Mr McKew.

To RSVP, please contact Renata Cumming from TPC Agriculture now on 0419 600 334 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A free BBQ lunch will be provided on the day after the workshop.

“Fodder, Grain and Grass” the focus of the second AFIA Our Place Workshop

Media Release

15 June 2017

The Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA), in partnership with TPC Agriculture, is excited to announce our second Our Place workshop to be held at Will Conheady’s dairy operation, 360 McKinnons Bridge Road, Noorat, Victoria on Thursday 22 June 2017 from 11.30am.

Will Conheady is involved in a 2,500 cow dairy operation over five milking farms with an autumn calving pattern to make the most of the spring flush of grass. They run a low input system and have average production of around 580kgMS.

A primarily grazing based system provides the best economical returns with feeding of fodder occurring mostly in the summer months when the cows have been dried off. Most fodder is home produced silage and purchased fodder is usually in the form of protein hay to feed out in winter.

Economics are important and the aim is to fill the cow up and balance the ration; 70-80 per cent of the diet is fixed and primarily pasture with fibre to hold them together and grain to fit the ration. Currently the grain ration is higher in wheat with a focus on the cents per litre for energy. Depending on the time of the year they will target protein or energy and will talk to their feed mill for nutritional advice.

Fodder purchases are made from growers they have been buying from for multiple years which helps guarantee they have a secure feed source - these relationships are very important to ensure they can secure their fodder needs and to maximise quality. There is an emphasis on quality of hay - “we believe buying quality hay is paramount”.

Feed tests are used but they also like to do visual assessments and Will’s father will head up to Northern Victoria before buying fodder to look at, smell and feel the hay before putting it to the ultimate test - the cows, to get the best indication if it is worth purchasing, particularly when they are looking at a new supplier.

Join us on Thursday 22 June 2017 from 11.30am to learn more about:

  • Balancing the diet in grazing systems.
  • Reducing feed wastage to avoid losing money.
  • Maximising fodder intake.
  • Th importance of relationships with fodder producers.
  • Balancing the feed and the economics.

“To date, 2017 has certainly produced an abundant supply of fodder in many regions around the country but those higher yields do not always deliver the quality required in today’s modern dairy enterprises,” said John McKew, AFIA Chief Executive Officer.

“This workshop, the second of ten in a collaborative effort by AFIA and TPC Agriculture, aims to assist dairy farmers in these challenging times, and we encourage AFIA members and non-members to participate in as many workshops as possible to realise their full potential,” urged Mr McKew.

To RSVP, please contact Renata Cumming from TPC Agriculture now on 0419 600 334 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A free BBQ lunch will be provided on the day after the workshop.

Media Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Fodder Industry Association
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registrations Open for the 2017 National Fodder Conference

Media Release

26 May 2017

Registrations are now open for the Australian Fodder Industry Association’s 2017 National Fodder Conference.  The theme for the 2017 Conference is ‘Feeding Innovation, Growing Success’.  The 2017 program will contain information to engage and stimulate everyone.  With a line-up of thought-provoking speakers and topics as well as plenty of opportunity for delegate interaction with exhibitors and sponsors, you and your business are assured to gain insights and connections from participating in the 2017 National Fodder Conference.

In addition to the conference speaking program and various workshops, the conference also comprises social functions including the Welcome Cocktail Function and the Annual Conference Dinner, great opportunities to connect with new and existing clients in a relaxed atmosphere as well as reconnecting with your fellow fodder industry friends.

Previous conferences have seen attendances consistently number between 250-300 delegates and have comprised a wide range of fodder industry participants including hay and silage growers and contractors, manufacturers and suppliers, hay exporters, domestic fodder traders, fodder transporters, end-users and researchers.

The 2017 National Fodder Conference program is in the final stages of development but you can register to attend now.  Don’t miss out as early bird registration discounts close on 16 July 2017.  To register, please visit www.afia.org.au or contact the AFIA office on (03) 9670-0523.

If you have an interest in the fodder industry or you are reliant on fodder for your business, you cannot afford to miss the 2017 National Fodder Conference, hosted by AFIA.  Lock the dates away now, 7-9 August 2017, and join us for the 2017 National Fodder Conference at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland.

Media Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Fodder Industry Association
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Australian Fodder Exports Surge in 2017

Media Release

9 May 2017

Australian fodder exports have surged in the first three months of 2017 according to the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) data. March 2017 fodder exports totalled 108,572 tonnes, the highest monthly volume on record since the data series commenced in July 2014. The first three months of 2017 have seen export volumes reach almost 300,000 tonnes.

Japan, Australia’s largest fodder market accounted for 45 per cent of total exports by volume for the first three months of 2017 followed by China with 22 per cent. The Republic of Korea accounted for 21 per cent and Taiwan, historically the fourth largest market, accounted for 7 per cent.

For the full 2016 calendar year, Australian fodder exports totalled 988,175 tonnes.

“We are certainly seeing very strong demand continue for Australian fodder products from our traditional export markets at the start of 2017,” commented Mr John McKew, CEO for the Australian Fodder Industry Association.

“Our exporters have been very busy with a number commenting that they have been processing at near full plant capacity so far this year. As we see interest in Australian fodder products coming from relatively new markets such as the Middle East and India, the outlook remains buoyant for the Australian fodder export industry.”

Media Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Fodder Industry Association
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Quality is King” the focus of the first AFIA Our Place Workshop

Media Release

11 April 2017

The Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA), in partnership with TPC Agriculture, is excited to announce an Our Place workshop that will focus on fodder decisions designed to improve production and profit for dairy farmers.

The first of ten Our Place workshops to be conducted by the partnership in 2017, the “Quality is King” workshop will be held from 10.30am on Friday, 12 May 2017 at Tom and Mick Acocks’ dairy farm, 348 Bonn Road, Rochester, Victoria. Immediately following the workshop, a tour of Jenharwill Baling at Elmore will be conducted.

Tom and Mick Acocks operate a substantial dairy farm near Rochester in northern Victoria and at this workshop will share why “Quality is King” for them. The Acocks’ farm runs around 750-800 milking cows year-round and last year produced 7.8 million litres of milk with average components of 3.3 protein and 4.2 fat. In an average year, they will see 60 to 70 percent of their fodder requirements produced on-farm and are not afraid of selling feed if it is excess to requirements or lower quality than desired. Feed tests are an integral part of their decision-making process when it comes to fodder. Tom and Mick understand that to produce quality milk they need quality fodder and “Quality is King”.

“To date, 2017 has certainly produced an abundant supply of fodder in many regions around the country but those higher yields do not always deliver the quality required in today’s modern dairy enterprises,” said John McKew, AFIA Chief Executive Officer.

“This workshop, the first of ten in a collaborative effort by AFIA and TPC Agriculture, aims to assist dairy farmers in these challenging times, and we encourage AFIA members and non-members to participate in as many workshops as possible to realise their full potential,” urged Mr McKew.

If you are interested in:

  • making fodder decisions that are the best fit for production and profit;
  • understanding what to grow and buy, and when to shandy low quality feed and when to sell it;

then this free workshop is a must for you.

To RSVP, please contact Renata Cumming from TPC Agriculture now on 0419 600 334 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Morning tea will be provided on the day.

Media Contact:

John McKew
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Fodder Industry Association
W: (03) 9670 0523
M: 0438 182 600
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.