As the old saying goes, “Patience is a virtue” certainly holds true when we are experiencing the weather patterns of the past few weeks. Farmers are anxious to get on the land, but experience has taught us that we must be patient and not push the envelope to fast. At the end of April, our forage stands are still lacking the colour and growth of areas in the south/west of the province, but then as stated earlier, we must be patient and count our lucky stars.

The Ontario Hay Marketing Forum (OHMF) teamed up with the Ontario Hay & Forage Co-operative Inc. on a recent Timothy hay tour in south western Ontario. We saw more advanced stands of timothy and witnessed a few different methods of planting and fertility applications being utilized. We heard many positive comments about the current forage situation, as well as reports of this being one of the best times hay producers have experienced.

The emphasis is certainly focused on producing a high-quality forage product, that will compete very well with any other cash crop and at the same time. We also saw evidence of how forages can improve soil health and fertility. To maximize our bottom line in hay production today, we must employ a totally different management system than grandpa had done in his day. We only need to look at the cereal crops and how their production levels have advanced in recent years. Hay can more than equal those production levels, if we revise our production and management practices. From a market perspective, all of Canada can not supply the total export demand and there is certainly a growing awareness of the true value of good quality hay.  

If you are in the hay marketing business, or regularly sell hay or straw locally, you may find it beneficial to join the Ontario Hay Marketing Forum. The Ontario Hay Marketing Forum is the first entity we think of when referring producers to a reputable hay supplier. It can be an excellent marketing tool, that gives you constant exposure to a broad clientele and at a reasonable price.

This is an exciting time for the forage industry and producers, or potential hay producers are invited to join the Ontario Hay Marketing Forum and be part of this entrepreneurial endeavour.  You could also become eligible to join the Canadian Forage Export Group.

For a membership form, or more information, please feel free to contact Ray Robertson at 1-877-892-8663 or ray@ontarioforagecouncil.com

Hay Marketing Forum