National background comments: report for the week ending 7th August, 2020.
The next update will be on Friday 14th August, 2020. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national summary for hay.
Rain is expected to fall in many parts of Australia over the next week, including Southwest Western Australia where it has been largely dry.
Reports suggest crops continue to do well across large parts of the country. Growth has continued following some milder conditions across the board.
A traditional season of supply and demand is expected as we look ahead. Ongoing favourable conditions will see plenty of hay produced especially in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. With less volumes of hay traveling long distances (as it has over the last few years during the drought), it is expected prices may continue to ease. Many growers have taken the opportunity to increase on farm covered storage in preparation for higher yields.
Prices have remained steady this week. There is still very little movement across all states. The same level of demand has not been witnessed this winter compared to previous years. Milder conditions and widespread rainfall have kept grass viable for stock in many areas. The cattle market remains strong which continues to affect demand.
We caution buyers and recommend feed-testing and viewing fodder before purchasing to be sure of quality of the feed.
Northern Australia - Summary
After some rain, demand has largely eased in northern Australia. Demand in the Atherton Tablelands is steady for farmers wanting feed for weaner cattle and for the equine industry.
- Atherton Tablelands have had much better conditions for making hay over the last month.
- Following some rainfall in the Darling Downs, the condition of crops remains ok. With that said, widespread rain is now required, or the season may finish up relatively quickly.
Southern Australia - Summary
Crops are up and doing well across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. With most areas having spread urea at least once.
- The demand that was expected to increase over winter has not eventuated. With adequate supply on farms and pasture staying viable, many farmers have not had to source additional roughage to carry stock.
- The silage season is still six to eight weeks away and up to ten weeks in the southern parts of Victoria. Growers are anticipating a good hay season if rainfall continues to fall at the right times. With many making sure they have the undercover storage now to carry as much as they can with demand expected to stay muted for some time.
Western Australia - Summary
Many in the west are struggling to secure fodder for the next two months to get them through until new season hay hits the market. There have been concerns appear that some areas will struggle with production due to the dry conditions and therefore the bale numbers will be well down.
- The export industry continues to dominate the WA market and is a solid indicator on pricing. Exporters continue to seek out hay and as a result, will set the price in the market for quality hay. Exporters are already in discussions with growers regarding new season hay and demand looks to be on the increase from last season.
- Continued rainfall will still be needed to get growers through to the spring.
- Prices remain strong for all fodder types in WA.
Price change in table below reflects moves since previous report (31st July, 2020)