Hay producers form forage co-operative
By Top Crop Manager
Dec. 7, 2015, Ontario – The founding board of directors of the Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative Inc. have formed Ontario’s newest producer co-operative. The co-operative’s goal is to increase the value of producers’ hay and forages by on-farm drying of hay which will then be compacted by the co-operative for sale to export markets. More than 50 hay producers turned out to the first public meeting of the co-operative held on Dec. 1 in Mount Forest.
The Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative is undertaking a comprehensive feasibility study to determine the economic viability of a major double-compacting hay facility in southern Ontario. A positive feasibility study would also determine the size, location, and type of facility to be built. The proposed hay compacting facility, currently planned to handle up to 100,000 tonnes annually and estimated to cost between $10 and $15 million, would target growing export markets for high quality hay, including markets in Asia, the Middle East and the European Union.
The co-operative will be speaking about its plans at the Ontario Forage Council’s Forage Focus conference in Shakespeare on December 15 and in Winchester on December 16. Details can be found on the OFC’s website.
Founding Directors of the Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative are Fritz Trauttmansdorff (chair), Don Rowntree (vice-chair), Jonathon Blydorp (secretary-treasurer), André Larocque, Chris Martin, Chris Riach, and Larry Davis. The co-operative has retained the services of co-op business consultant George Alkalay of Northfield Ventures Ltd. to prepare the feasibility study and provide support with overall project development.