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This is a description of National Hay report

National summary

National background comments: report for the week ending 18th September, 2020.

The next update will be on Friday 2nd October, 2020. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national summary for hay.

Most of southern Australia and Western Australia are forecast to receive rain over the next week. Rain will be ideal for some to finish off crops but for others it will be a hindrance with hay on the ground.

Growers who traditionally produce 50% hay and 50% grain in Southern Australia are now considering pushing as much through to grain as possible. This is due to reports of a wetter than average spring and low hay prices.

With the uncertainty around how the season will finish there has been new inquiry in Victoria from farmers wanting to secure last season’s good quality vetch and cereal hay that has been stored under cover. However, prices continue to be unchanged, there is still very little demand across all states at present.

It is expected that growers will see more inquiry for new season hay, with buyers and farmers wanting to take advantage of predicted lower prices, this has not yet eventuated.

Border closures and permit requirements continue to be a concern for contractors as the 100km bubble does not allow them to reach all clients. All eyes are on Victoria as restrictions ease in regional parts.

We caution buyers and recommend feed-testing and viewing fodder before purchasing to be sure of quality of the feed.

Northern Australia - Summary

  • Demand in the Atherton Tablelands remains steady with a small amount of fodder moving for weaner cattle and into trade stores for the equine industry.
  • Atherton Tablelands have had much better conditions for making hay over the last month.
  • The Darling Downs crops are well on track following good rainfall over the last two months. Barley hay is now being made in the area.

Southern Australia - Summary

  • Crops continue to do well across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, with most areas receiving good consistent rainfall.
  • The demand increased expected over winter has not eventuated. Farmers have been well enough stocked themselves and grass has stayed viable over winter due to the mild conditions.
  • The silage season has commenced in central NSW and northern Victoria with advanced crops. Central NSW will start cutting hay within the fortnight.
  • Growers are anticipating a significant amount of hay to be made this season. With many making sure they have undercover storage to carry as much as they can with demand expected to slow for some time.

Western Australia - Summary

  • Confidence has been restored in the west following more significant rain. There is no demand at present and will likely stay like this until new season hay is available, with a majority of it destined for export depending on quality.
  • The export industry continues to dominate the WA market and is a solid indicator on pricing.
  • Cutting has begun in the east and also the top of the wheat belt. Warm conditions are quickly finishing off the season.
  • Good rain that came late in the season has been ideal for many parts in finishing crops. There are areas that have missed out, especially in the east, and growers are expecting yields to be below average.
  • Prices remain strong for all fodder types in WA.

Price change in table below reflects moves since previous report (11th September, 2020)


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Hay and grain reports

The hay and grain report is commissioned by Dairy Australia to provide an independent and timely assessment of hay and grain markets in each dairying region. The report is updated 40 weeks per year.

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