The big round bales of hay have started moving from the paddocks to three storage locations around the farm. This can be a slow job, but somewhat rewarding, as once it is done the harvest is finished. This year has been so good for hay that we have about three years worth of hay to store. This gives us great feed security for the cows. Keeping the cows well fed is important for their overall health.
This hay is just not your every day hay. Let have a talk about this. What does this hay have and what does this hay not have. The hay is mostly Rye grass. There are a variety of other grasses, sub clover, and some native grass in the hay as well. The variety of feed in the hay gives greater nutritional value for the cattle. The hay is quite often used to supplement winter feed which can be quite watery, so the combination of the two is great.
The hay does not have herbicides or pesticides. Most farmers would have sprayed for weeds like Bathurst burr, Hog weed, Bindii and others. Bathurst burr can be chipped with a shovel or slashed; Hog weed our cows will eat; not problem there, and Bindii can be chipped with a shovel or the cows will eat it if there is not much else. Most farmers may have sprayed for Red legged earth mite, Aphids or a variety of other pests. All these chemicals get into the soil and therefore into the plants the cows eat.
On Eden Farm we don’t spray for any of these weeds or pest issues and never have in the 15 years we have been here. This means no residual chemicals in the soil or plants. As part of our Biodynamic-In-Conversion certification our soil has been tested for residual chemicals and none were evident.