A WIMMERA hay company has broken records and doubled its exports in the past decade.
Staff at Horsham’s Johnson Asahi celebrated this week after exporting 100,000 tonnes of hay in a year.
Operations manager Tony Huebner said it was a fantastic achievement that showed strength in both the company and agriculture in the region.
“It’s the first time Johnson Asahi has reached 100,000 tonnes of hay in one year,” he said.
“A lot of effort has gone into it, not just from our workers but also through grower support.
“The support we’ve received has been fantastic.
“We’ve also had great help from our contractors with the bailing – logistically it is a big effort to export that much hay.”
Mr Huebner said in the past 10 years, the company had been exporting more oaten hay.
“Growers are now incorporating oaten hay into their growing program,” he said.
“We have also been working with growers to try to help them produce export quality hay.
“Getting export quality hay is not an easy thing sometime.”
Mr Huebner said he had been with the company for about 10 years.
“When I started we were exporting 40,000 to 50,000 tonnes of hay a year, so we’ve pretty much doubled in the past decade,” he said.
“We had a big hay year last year and we were able to purchase 100,000 tonnes and export 100,000 tonnes.”
Mr Huebner said Johnson Asahi was continuing to expand and would move out to the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal in the next few years.
“We’ve been at the same location since 1994, but by moving out to the freight terminal, it shows that we are here for the long haul,” he said.
“We are here to stay and will keep exporting.”
Mr Huebner said the new site would be bigger, meaning the company could continue to grow.
“It’s also closer to the freight terminal, which makes it more efficient,” he said.
“The aim of having new technology and new machines all the time is to keep increasing our exports.”
Mr Huebner congratulated everyone involved in the company’s exports over the past year.