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Read about hay and its contribution to farm inputs and costs.

National summary

National background comments: report for the week ending 13th September, 2019.

The next update will be on Friday 20th September, 2019. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national summary for hay.

The new season is upon us with hay in some of the southern and northern regions starting to be made. North coast NSW, the Darling Downs, and central South Australia are all starting to make new season cereal hay. Pasture hay in the Atherton Tablelands continues to be made but there is very little hay left to be made in this region.

After light rain in the Goulburn Valley it anticipated that farmers in this region, the Riverina and the Wimmera will start making hay next week. Parts of South Gippsland are looking to start making silage in the next 1 -2 weeks and parts of Western Australia will start maing hay.

Demand is starting to increase throughout much of the nation. It is postulated that many farmers are trying to get in early this season to make sure they have themselves covered while some farmers in drier areas are running low on feed supplies.

Cereal hay prices have eased this week in the Darling Downs, north coast NSW, central West NSW, Bega, Gippsland, southwest Victoria and central South Australia.

There is a lot of hay being transported around the country of varying quality. We caution buyers and recommend feed-testing and viewing fodder before purchasing to be sure of quality of the feed.

Northern Australia - Summary

  • New season hay continues to be made in some parts of the region and is on the market. Supply is limited with a lot of hay being carted into the region from the southern parts of the nation.
  • With few crops sown and prevailing dry condtions, there will be limited hay made this season for parts of the region.
  • There are some failed crops being made into hay in the region but these a few.
  • Securing long term, reliable supplies of quality hay may well be an issue for the north as the year progresses with demand expected to be greater than supply.

Southern Australia - Summary

  • This seasons hay is limited in supply and there is limited carryover from previous years.
  • There are farmers who have sown dual purpose crops rather than their usual rotations for next season.
  • Next seasons crops are looking promising for most of the region. Many farmers are anticipating a good hay season ahead.
  • For much of southern Australia it is looking to be a good season. Rainfall has been patchy and there are parts of the region that are not expecting a good season.
  • Parts of the region have experienced a tough finish and crops in these regions are struggling. It is not yet known what will happen with these crops.
  • New season hay is starting to be made in southern Australia.

Western Australia - Summary

  • Crops are currently 2-3 weeks behind and yields are looking below an average season.
  • There was less canola sown this season due to the late autumn break and what has been sown is patchy.
  • A lot of canola will not have the yields so will be made into hay.
  • There was a lot of high quality hay made this season and this is reflected in the high price for feed in the region.
  • Hay supplies are tight in Western Australia.
  • The export industry continues to dominate the WA market and is a solid indicator on pricing. Exporters continue to seek out quality hay and as a result, will set the price in the market for quality hay.

Price change in table below reflects moves since previous report (6th September, 2019)

13-September-2019 Hay
Cereal Lucerne Straw Pasture
Atherton Tablelands Price Range N/A N/A N/A $360 $400
Change Steady
Darling Downs Price Range $400 $500 $700 $800 $250 $350 $450 $650
Change -$75 Steady Steady Steady
North Coast NSW Price Range $400 $500 $600 $700 $250 $350 $300 $400
Change -$25 Steady Steady Steady
Central West NSW Price Range $380 $450 $600 $700 $300 $400 $400 $500
Change -$110 Steady Steady Steady
Bega Valley Price Range $380 $450 $650 $700 $300 $350 $400 $500
Change -$110 Steady Steady Steady
Goulburn / Murray Valley Price Range $300 $400 $500 $520 $120 $150 $270 $330
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Gippsland Price Range $350 $450 $550 $650 $220 $260 $440 $560
Change -$25 Steady Steady Steady
South West Victoria Price Range $300 $350 $450 $520 $190 $200 $350 $400
Change -$35 Steady Steady Steady
South East South Australia Price Range $400 $450 $550 $600 $150 $200 $300 $400
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Central Districts SA Price Range $400 $450 $570 $650 $220 $250 N/A N/A
Change -$45 Steady Steady N/A
South West WA Price Range $300 $380 $450 $490 $130 $180 $240 $280
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
North West Tasmania Price Range $220 $260 $350 $400 $80 $130 $200 $250
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady


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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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