Rain interrupts hay making

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Making hay while the sun doesn’t shine: Contractor Felminghams from Invergordon catching a break between showers.

Intermittent summer storms have been a nuisance for farmers and hay contractors this season.

Invergordon contractor Luke Felmingham welcomed recent rain but said the frequency of rain interruptions made for a difficult season, combined with transport delays and COVID-19 issues.

On Tuesday he had lucerne and Teff grain crops on the ground, waiting to be baled but had to stop because of the showers. He was watching the forecasts with some trepidation.

“We got about 30 to 35mm last week,” Mr Felmingham said on Tuesday.

“The storm missed us out here last night but it looks like we’re getting more showers now.’’

Due to the wet season, contractors and farmers have been forced to rush the hay production in between rainfall. Some farmers who did not wait long enough for the hay to be cured, or bailed it wet, suffered the ultimate penalty when they lost their hay to fires.

The Felminghams have been growing the fine grain Teff for a number of years. The hay is packaged in small bales and has been popular with horse studs seeking low sugar fodder.

Some Australian farmers grow the crop for flour for human consumption.