Home' Yorke Peninsula Country Times : Gilmac 8-page Contents 2 www.gilmac.com.au
Gilmac Hay Special Feature – October 2012
From grower to manager, Mark
has the know-how for export hay
Australia’s Largest Hay Exporter
“All we need now is the hay”
WITH more storage and production capacity,
more hay will be needed and Gilmac is keener
than ever to welcome new growers on board.
Gilmac site manager, Mark Heaslip, said the
company was always looking for quality hay.
“It’s always nice to hear from prospective grow-
ers pre-seeding, as we do our contracting in April,”
“We still have phone calls this week from peo-
ple who have a hay paddock sitting there, waiting
to be cut, to see if we’re interested.
with a quality and a price, then get back to them.
“Any time, people can ring and we can accom-
modate but ideally if they can get in touch with us
pre-seeding, it works best.
“We like to know the paddocks they are going
to put in and how many hectares they are putting
in as it helps our system, we know exactly what’s
Gilmac then has field agents, who inspect the
crop at pre-tillery and pre-mowing stages.
“We like to tell the grower if there is a problem
with their paddock as early as possible, so they can
make a decision about what they want to do,” Mr
“We don’t want to have the hay in the bale and
then say ‘no, we don’t want it’, we want to sort it
out well before that point.”
While it may sound like an invasive process, Mr
Heaslip ensures growers that is not the case.
“People are quite happy to allow us to look at
their paddocks and see how it is,” he said.
“Some growers meet our crop inspectors at the
gate and go around with them, others just give us
a map and tell us to get back to them when we
know what’s happening.
“They’re interested in our comments and we’re
interested in what their thoughts are too.”
The goal is pretty simple.
“We want a high analysis green hay, that’s our
number one priority,” Mr Heaslip said.
“Dryer years produce that but don’t produce
the tonnes, wetter years we get the tonnes but
not the quality.
“We always strive to get the best quality hay
we can but we also have a good market for low
quality hay too.”
New growers are more than welcome to
remain in regular contact with Mr Heaslip and his
“I sit down and have a chat to them, a lot of
people also ring up for advice, so there is plenty
of opportunity to talk about how to grow export
oaten hay,” he said.
Anyone interested in growing hay for next sea-
son is encouraged to contact Gilmac.
THERE are few aspects to the export hay
business Gilmac site manager Mark Heaslip
has not experienced in his extensive involve-
ment with the industry.
Mark was born and bred on the Owen
family farm and went on to become a pri-
mary producer himself, both locally and on
the state’s west coast.
He left the land aged 32 after drought
took its toll, taking on a job in engineering
Mark first came to Gilmac in 1993 as a
plant operator and 18 months later was
made a supervisor at the site.
In 1996 he was asked to manage the
major processing plant in New Norcia,
He held that management position for
two years before becoming a farm manager
of a property that grew export oaten hay,
which he did for eight years.
“We grew 2200 hectares of export oaten
hay, which is ironic when people talk to me
how difficult it is to grow oaten hay,” Mark
He came back to manage the Balaklava
site in 2006, bringing wife, Marie, a Border-
town girl, and their three children.
“It’s worked out really well and we’ve
been here for six years now,” Mark said.
“I’m a lot more comfortable now than
was all a bit awe-inspiring back then.
“Now, when I’m talking with the growers,
I’ve got hands-on experience.
“I’m not some bloke who doesn’t know
anything about hay.
“I’ve been there, done it, I’ve been that
bloke on the other side, growing hay for
“Marie and I also have our own block of
land we grow hay on.
“So I feel like I can relate to growers
Gilmac keen to welcome
new growers on board
✓ Quality Sheds ✓ Handyman Services
✓ Shade Structures ✓ Installing of Insulation
✓ Concreting ✓ Shed Extensions
Constructors Of New
Call Clinton Kirchhofer for a free quote
Phone: 0458 384 898
NO JOB IS TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL
LEFT: Gilmac site
Heaslip keeps a close
eye on the expansion.
More storage and premium price for premium hay
Links Archive Holding Issue October 9, 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page