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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 3rd April, 2020.

The next update will be on Friday 17th April, 2020. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national summary for hay.

Rain fell in many drought-stricken regions this week, including parts of NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania. South Australia has missed out on much of the rain that has fallen over the eastern states in the last few weeks and remains dry. The rainfall was beneficial for most although regions such as Bega and the Darling Downs are already beginning to dry out.

Many farmers are getting ready for the season ahead including preparing the soil and finishing spraying programs. In parts of central west NSW and the Goulburn Valley, rain this week helped early sown crops and has given farmers more confidence in the season ahead. For many it is the first year in a while that they will not be dry sowing crops. While in central South Australia, at present it looks like farmers will be dry sowing again this year.

While farmers are getting ready for the season ahead, feed continues to be made in both the northern and southern regions. Some southern regions have seen their season extended. Many farmers are trying to make as much feed as they can for themselves, before it gets too cold.

The market remains mostly quiet and most of the hay that is moving is contractual. There is some new enquiry occurring in central west NSW, the Goulburn Valley, Gippsland and southwest Victoria. Most of the northern region markets remain quiet.

With a reasonably quiet market there has been little change in price. Price changes were only noted in central west NSW and Bega this week.

Northern Australia - Summary

  • After consistent rainfall demand has eased in northern Australia.
  • Late summer crops have been sown in some parts of northern Australia and are being turned into hay.
  • Supply of feed has been limited with a lot of hay being carted into the region from the southern parts of the nation; this is now slowing with current hay trucks delivering previously committed orders.
  • There are reports of orders being cancelled due to the recent rains and the availability of green pick.
  • Fires have affected some pasture and feed supplies in some regions.
  • The Government is offering special assistance grants to those affected by the bushfires. For more information and to apply, please visit https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/special-disaster-grant-bushfires  

Southern Australia - Summary

  • A lot of hay has been moving to the northern regions, but this has slowed.
  • Yields have been good for many in the south, however hay making conditions has been difficult this season due to inclement weather.
  • There is hay on the market that has been rained on in parts of southern Australia which has varying degrees of weather damage.
  • Hay supplies have moved fast, and there is limited carryover from previous years.
  • Fires have affected some pasture and feed supplies in the region and various charities are still active in the market recurring fodder to donate to these affected regions.
  • The NSW Government is offering special assistance grants to those affected by the NSW bushfires. For more information and to apply, please visit https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/special-disaster-grant-bushfires
  • The Victorian Government is offering support to those affected by the Gippsland bushfires. For more information on support available, and to apply, please visit http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/emergencies/recovery/current-incidents  

Western Australia - Summary

  • Domestic demand is steady in southwest Western Australia.
  • New season hay and straw has moved fast and is limited in supply. A lot of hay in the state is now committed.
  • There is new cereal hay on the market.
  • With limited carryover from previous seasons and poor yields across the state, securing long-term, reliable sources of feed may still be an issue.
  • 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.
  • Securing a good autumn break is still very much factoring in the minds of Western Australian growers, despite recent rains.


Price change in table below reflects moves since previous report (27th March, 2020)

03-April-2020 Hay
Cereal Lucerne Straw Pasture
Atherton Tablelands Price Range N/A N/A N/A $300 $350
Change Steady
Darling Downs Price Range $380 $450 $500 $600 $280 $330 $200 $250
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
North Coast NSW Price Range $400 $450 $500 $600 $170 $230 $220 $250
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Central West NSW Price Range $360 $400 $420 $460 $250 $280 $160 $200
Change Steady -$160 Steady -$105
Bega Valley Price Range $400 $430 $600 $650 $200 $230 $400 $500
Change -$40 -$50 -$60 Steady
Goulburn / Murray Valley Price Range $250 $330 $450 $650 $90 $140 $250 $330
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Gippsland Price Range $280 $340 $550 $650 $150 $200 $180 $240
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South West Victoria Price Range $240 $300 $500 $600 $100 $140 $160 $230
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South East South Australia Price Range $270 $300 $380 $500 $100 $140 $200 $250
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Central Districts SA Price Range $220 $320 $400 $480 $120 $170 N/A N/A
Change Steady Steady Steady N/A
South West WA Price Range $320 $370 $450 $490 $120 $140 $200 $220
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
North West Tasmania Price Range $260 $340 $370 $400 $150 $200 $250 $320
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady

Initiatives

Our Farm, Our Plan

Our Farm, Our Plan is a new program designed to equip farmers to clarify their long term goals, identify the actions needed and to manage uncertainty and risk.

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.

More Initiatives