Hay Report - 18 August 2017

National Summary

  • There were limited changes to hay prices this week as steady trading continued for the most part around the country.
  • The north still fields most of the demand where fodder supplies are the shortest. Southern Tasmania, eastern Gippsland and patches of both Western Australia and South Australia are equally thin. These regions are places missed by late winter rainfall and are now preparing for a prolonged dry spell through summer.
  • The prospects for the rest of the country are looking increasingly positive however. Growers have reported a vast improvement in winter crops throughout August with key hay making regions in the Goulburn Valley and Southeast South Australia at the forefront of the turnaround. With good rain and some warmer days in the past week, most southern regions are headed for another good harvest.
  • As harvest draws closer, we are seeing more and poor quality hay enter the market as growers try to offload feed to make room in sheds. There continues to be little market for this though, as farmers push for quality and longer term benefits.

    Read more ...

Hay Report - 4 August 2017

National Summary

  • Hay prices remained steady across most regions this week and continue to hold well back from this time last year.
  • The price of fodder is in many cases reflective of its quality. The feed on offer this year is testing worse than that of previous years and the prevalence of damaged hay is much higher due to inclement weather, oversupply and mice. That’s not to say there isn’t quality available, because there certainly is and demand has lifted in recent weeks for premium cereal particularly. Some growers are holding onto this better quality feed now however, in hope of a better price later in the year. This has made sourcing top quality feed gradually more difficult.
  • The same can’t be said for poorer quality feed which is still on offer in abundance in the south. A great deal of growers are now looking to clear sheds to make room for the coming season and farmers have in the past week started to become interested. With the prospect of a long dry summer a distinct possibility, there is the potential for more purchasing at the bottom end as farmers seek a backup feed option.
  • What is most important when buying feed at the moment is knowing it’s quality in order to best determine its use in your business. This requires and feed test and mould and yeast test. We also urge buyers to carefully inspect the product before purchase and use only trusted suppliers.

    Read more ...

Hay Report - 28 July 2017

National Summary

  • Hay trading continued at a steady pace in most regions around the country this week. While most demand is still coming from the north, farmers in the south have steadily reinstated their interest in purchasing feed.
  • Some price fluctuations were noticed this week and in most cases this saw hay prices on the rise. There continues to be a great deal of variability in quality on offer and with more hay now trading, this is resulting in a wide pricing range for some areas.
  • There has been a noticeable shift over winter with farmers shunning the cheaper feed and opting to spend more to ensure good hay. Sourcing good quality protein hay and straw is becoming increasingly difficult.
  • While much on the country has experienced a fair at best winter of rainfall, there is an expectation that demand and potentially price will grow next season. Some hay traders are even suggesting that without a stellar harvest this year the oversupply may become an undersupply, particularly in the north.
  • As always, we strongly advocate for getting a feed test and carefully inspecting fodder before purchase. Weather damaged and pest damaged (particularly mice) products are in abundance and will need to be carefully considered to ensure value for money no matter the advertised price of hay.

    Read more ...

Hay Report - 14 July 2017

National Summary

  • This week we saw most regions around the country return to an active market of hay trading. Demand is still relatively low from farmers, but many are now topping up sheds to combat dwindling homegrown supplies or are now determining feed requirements for the remainder of the year. A dryer than average winter has sped up this process somewhat with the prospect of a much tighter year quite possible.
  • The major hay making region in the south have all enjoyed a well overdue bout of rainfall in the past fortnight, however with most growers planting less this season, any reduction in yields could mean much less plentiful supply. Some hay traders, particularly in the north are looking to secure large volumes of fodder in expectation of a boost in demand later in the year.
  • Some price fluctuations occurred this week and a general push towards better quality was noticed again. With the cold weather and frosts hitting the south many dairy farmers have re-entered the market looking for quality cereal. There continues to be large amounts of poorer quality feed selling for considerably less than proposed in the report however comments suggest this is difficult to move.
  • Protein hay is becoming more and more difficult to acquire, especially the better quality. In the north, this is also the case for straw.
  • We continue to strongly advocate for getting a feed test and carefully inspecting fodder before purchase. Weather damaged and pest damaged (particularly mice) products are in abundance and will need to be carefully considered to ensure value for money no matter the advertised price of hay.

    Read more ...

Hay Report - 7 July 2017

National Summary

  • The slow and steady increase in enquiry for hay was noted in most regions around the nation again this week. Cool, dry conditions and in many cases frosts have in the past month prompted a number of farmers to enter the market. Despite demand for fodder growing somewhat, prices are holding firm in most cases.
  • Hay supply continues to be strong generally, but is certainly most scarce in the north. Queensland buyers have to look quite a way south to source most quality cereal and protein hay. Straw and pasture are also in tighter supply in the north following a dry summer.
  • In southern regions some rainfall this week has eased pressure on current crops. More is still needed though to see another bumper year, reports suggest. The west too has experienced rain in the past week, bringing great relief to growers in the wheat-belt region. Comments suggest that growers to the north of this are still dry and doing it tough.
  • A notable change to buying trends over the past few weeks have been a lift in demand for better quality feed. It appears the word is catching on regarding the damage ‘cheap hay’ can have on an animal’s milk production and health.
  • Despite there being a lot of cheap hay on the market, we suggest getting a feed test and carefully inspecting fodder to better understand the value of what you’re buying.

    Read more ...

Hay Report - 30 June 2017

National Summary

  • Another dry week around the nation has pulled back expectations for winter crops in most parts of the country. A number of major southern hay making areas have now been added to a list of regions in Queensland, NSW and WA in need of significant rainfall. It appears much of northern Victoria and SA have been without rain for some time and the outlook for this year’s hay season is quickly deteriorating.
  • Good supply remains in sheds in these regions however and throughout southern Victoria decent pasture availability persists. Without a bumper year in 2017 it appears the oversupply from last year could fill the gap. The quality of this feed with growing reports of mice and weather damage is an issue however and good value for money will potentially be more difficult.
  • Prices were steady for the most part this week despite the rising interest in the hay market. When purchasing fodder this year it is important to carefully inspect the product before you buy. Getting hay feedtested and using a mould and yeast test will also be invaluable when determining the quality of feed this year.

    Read more ...

Hay Report - 22 June 2017

National Summary

  • This week around the country we saw an increasing variance in supply, demand and outlook for the season ahead between different corners of the country
  • To the north, supply of quality cereal hay is low and demand is creeping up as the prospect of another light year for production looks possible without good rainfall soon. Protein is also drawing interest and has experienced a price hike in recent weeks as good quality is now difficult to find. Straw and pasture are even more elusive.
  • The south in contrast continues to have an oversupply of fodder and having experienced a strong autumn / winter period so far for rain, another big year is being predicted. With the oversupply has come the problem of pest and weather damage however.
  • Reports this week have also indicated that unlike regions along the eastern seaboard, the west is yet to experience any significant break, with little rainfall since January.

    Read more ...

Hay Report - 16 June 2017

National Summary

  • Reports from around the country suggest a generally slow hay market with only pockets of interested buyers as we head into the thick of winter.
  • In the south there are early indicators of another strong year for hay production as a wet winter provides a positive outlook. Especially when considering the amount of feed still sitting in sheds and paddocks. It’s unlikely any surge in demand will be great enough toutilisethis supply in its entirety.
  • To the north we’re seeing the only potential market to take up this oversupply. Good quality feed has become increasingly difficult to source in Queensland and the usual food bowl for the north- Central West NSW. South Australia is picking up the slack with a constant stream of fodder heading from the region, but this has yet to really take off.
  • Pressure from growers, already paying a premium in freight costs for fodder heading north, is keeping prices from increasing significantly. Some minor price changes were noticed this week, but according to hay traders no major rise or fall is now likely until late in the year.

    Read more ...