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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 17th January, 2020.

The next update will be on Friday 24th January, 2020. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national summary for hay.

Rain and storms are forecast to fall across most of the southeast of Australia this week. While South Australia will not receive these storms, they are forecast throughout Victoria, NSW and parts of Queensland. So far, these storms have been patchy, however more rain is forecast.

Farmers in the north are waiting to see what these storms bring. Some farmers in the Darling Downs and central west NSW are hoping they might be able to sow crops with these rains. While in north coast NSW, it is hoped these rains will get their summer grasses going.

Demand is holding firm across the country. There is a lot of enquiry coming from NSW and Queensland, but we are also seeing increased local demand in Victoria and South Australia. Demand remains high in Tasmania which is largely being driven by the east coast.

Hay supplies are moving fast with many farmers already sold out of hay. While hay is moving fast, it has been reported some farmers are holding onto supplies until they have a better idea of the months ahead. While it may become increasingly difficult to source hay, we might have more supply coming onto the market in the months ahead.

Cereal hay prices have changed this week in central west NSW, southwest Victoria, southeast South Australia, southwest Western Australia and northwest Tasmania. Straw price changes have also been noted in southeast South Australia 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

  • There was little hay made this season and many crops failed. Supply of feed is limited with a lot of hay being carted into the region from the southern parts of the nation.
  • Local hay supplies have moved fast and there are limited supplies left.
  • 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.
  • Fires have affected some pasture and feed supplies in the region. Getting fodder into some parts of the region requires police escort.
  • The Government continues to offer subsidies for transport of fodder, moving livestock and water infrastructure to support eligible farmers in NSW affected by drought. This can be backdated to 1st January 2018. For more information and to apply please visit https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub

Southern Australia - Summary

  • Previous seasons hay is limited in supply and there is limited carryover from previous years.
  • There were a lot of frost damaged crops that were turned into hay this season.
  • There is a lot of hay moving to the northern regions.
  • There is hay on the market that has been rained on which has varying degrees of whether damage.
  • Yields have been good for some in the south however, hay making conditions have been difficult this season.
  • Hay supplies are moving fast, it has been reported that there is some panic buying coming from the southern regions.
  • Fires have affected some pasture and feed supplies in the region. Getting fodder into some parts of the region requires police escort.
  • The Government continues to offer subsidies for transport of fodder, moving livestock and water infrastructure to support eligible farmers in NSW affected by drought. This can be backdated to 1st January 2018. For more information and to apply please visit https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub

Western Australia - Summary

  • Producing cereal hay is finished for the season and yields are low across the state.
  • New season straw is starting to be made in the region, however these yields are also expected to be low.
  • With limited carryover from previous seasons and poor yields across the state, securing long-term, reliable sources of feed may 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.
     

Price change in table below reflects moves since previous report (10th December, 2019)

17-January-2020 Hay
Cereal Lucerne Straw Pasture
Atherton Tablelands Price Range N/A N/A N/A $400 $440
Change Steady
Darling Downs Price Range $475 $525 $700 $750 $320 $380 $440 $460
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
North Coast NSW Price Range $450 $500 $600 $700 $270 $330 $440 $450
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Central West NSW Price Range $380 $420 $600 $700 $240 $280 $400 $500
Change -$15 Steady Steady Steady
Bega Valley Price Range $410 $430 $650 $700 $250 $300 $400 $500
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Goulburn / Murray Valley Price Range $310 $350 $600 $800 $130 $160 $340 $370
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Gippsland Price Range $350 $400 $550 $650 $190 $230 $250 $350
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South West Victoria Price Range $300 $350 $480 $550 $160 $170 $240 $270
Change $40 Steady Steady Steady
South East South Australia Price Range $270 $320 $430 $530 $140 $190 $300 $400
Change $10 Steady $10 Steady
Central Districts SA Price Range $300 $330 $570 $650 $140 $200 N/A N/A
Change Steady Steady $15 N/A
South West WA Price Range $320 $380 $450 $490 $120 $150 $240 $280
Change $10 Steady Steady Steady
North West Tasmania Price Range $310 $330 $370 $400 $80 $130 $270 $290
Change $5 Steady Steady Steady

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