Hay Report - 21 October 2016

National Summary

  • With the focus still on the harvest at hand, little hay continues to be traded around the country. What is being traded is of small volumes and having little impact on the market generally. We did note that in some regions this week, prices eased as growers look to free up the market. There is a general consensus that with the expected lesser quality and greater supply of the new season feed, prices will be further reduced. Exceptions to this will be some of the bigger hay growing regions hit hardest by late rainfall. Areas within Central West NSW and the Goulburn Valley may not make as much hay as predicted and demand will be up.
  • Tight times for the dairy industry have also resulted in many farmers looking to grow larger volumes of home grown feed this season. Reports indicate that this could see less hay traded next year after an initial spike as the new season feed hits the market. 
  • Comments suggest that while the amount of hay produced nationally will be almost half of what was hoped, big crops countrywide will ensure that supply is still there. This may however not be the case for export grade fodder as quality is undoubtedly going to be an issue.

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Hay Report - 7 October 2016

National Summary

  • Once again this week we have witnessed little price movement and a sluggish hay market reported around the country. With the focus now firmly on the season ahead, we are seeing a number of buyers sitting out of the market in anticipation of a new season price and product. With uncertainty surrounding quality in many regions and a likely oversupply, farmers are expecting a reduction in hay prices.
  • In the North, as harvest begins to get into full swing, the reports are positive with a large amount of fodder expected to be produced. As we head South, inclement weather continues to delay the start of the season. Growers in parts of Victoria, Southern NSW and South Australia have been receiving a battering from storm fronts bringing relentless rainfall. This is now beginning to do real damage to crops and sour what was hoped to be a bumper season.

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Hay Report - 30 September 2016

National Summary

  • With harvest now underway in a number of regions around the country and others simply waiting out continuing rainfall; hay trading has largely been put on hold. There is a great deal of anticipation regarding the new season price and this has seen a number of farmers now sitting out of the market. The return to a soft winter which has now dragged on through the first month of spring has set up a challenging harvest and all reports suggest quality will be down. The early dry finish which brought about premium export grade hay but low yields last year has been flipped as many growers currently try to salvage big crops.
  • Also a result of the rain, comprehensive grass feed is likely to linger for some months. This is also slowing any urgency from farmers to buy and has seen a marked shift in focus towards straw and protein hay.
  • Once the new season fodder hits the market, we are likely to see a reduction in prices due to the quality of the feed and the greater level of supply in most regions. For now prices are holding with the lack of trading and in some areas due to the limited supply of last season’s feed.

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Hay Report - 23 September 2016

National Summary

  • Few changes were recorded in the hay market again this week as the trend of minimal buying and a lull in demand continued throughout the country. This is a predictable situation for this time of year as growers either begin harvest or wait for the curing conditions to get underway. There is a great deal of speculation and uncertainty regarding the new season price which has a number of farmers currently sitting out of the market. With the abundance of grass feed available, straw continues to move more easily and low to mid range cereal hay also traded well as farmers make room in sheds.
  • Almost all growers, hay traders and end users are in agreeance that large numbers are expected in terms of supply. Feed quality is far more of an unknown as a number of regions report crop damage, waterlogging and flooding from well above average spring rainfall.
  • There is an expectation that prices will ease in the coming weeks when the new season price is announced. How much this price moves is yet unknown and will be a reflection of the quality and/or the supply saturation of the market. For now, most growers hope for a few weeks of sunshine to convert months of promising growth into a product as close as possible to the standard of previous years.

Northern Australia - Summary

  • Limited trading and reduced demand again this week.
  • There is still some uncertainty over what level of quality this season’s crops will be capable of delivering with such inclement weather hanging around.
  • Scattered drizzle continues to hamper efforts to begin harvest in some regions. Others are now underway for both lucerne and barley.
  • The good news for farmers in the region is that supply should not be an issue for the coming season which is likely to make prices competitive.

Southern Australia - Summary

  • Few changes to the market again this week with most buyers now siting out of the market or focussing on the upcoming harvest.
  • A good number of regions in the South have now experienced too much rainfall and are hoping for a dry change to conditions to enable any quality feed to be produced this year.
  • With the ample grass feed available throughout the Southern regions, straw has continued to take a larger share of the enquiry.
  • As an ongoing consequence of reduced milk pricing, many dairy farmers continue to sit out of the hay market, focusing instead on producing their own grass and fodder, particularly silage.

Western Australia - Summary

  • Small volumes still trading in the region.
  • Limited supply is available in the region keeping prices to a premium.
  • Reports suggest a significant drop in prices when the new season feed hits the market due to an expected excess of hay.
  • Wet conditions continue in some regions and this will impact hay production and ultimately, the quality of some of this hay.
  • This season is expected to be a major turnaround from the poor yields experienced last year.
  • The export hay industry in the west maintains a strong influence on prices in the region although there was no activity reported in the export sector this week.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • A return to warmer, dry weather conditions have been experienced in the Atherton region this week with more sunshine on the way.
  • Growers are seemingly optimistic regarding the outlook for this season’s harvest with good growth evident in most crops.
  • As has been the case for the bulk of the winter period, hay trading remains limited with little interest in the market.
  • A number of factors are contributing to this situation including destocking in the beef sector which has diminished demand as a result of continuing strong beef prices, no export cattle orders and a good winter which has resulted in plentiful pasture in the region, reducing the need to purchase fodder in.
  • Our reports indicate that there are still good volumes to be moved in sheds however this is of variable quality so careful inspection is recommended before purchase.
  • Demand for small bales in small quantities remains strong but this trade is not significant enough to influence overall hay prices.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $250/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Note: Hay in the Atherton Tablelands is traditionally priced at $/bale so it is important to check bale weights for conversion to a $/t rate.

Darling Downs

  • This week saw some price fluctuation as both limited supply and varied quality influence the market.
  • Buying is still quite slow as most growers are now focusing on the harvest which will get underway completely in the coming few weeks, rain permitting.
  • Reports indicate that there is limited supply for last season’s cereal hay in sheds throughout the region, however growers are reporting continued enquiry.
  • Some parts of the Downs have experience a great deal of rainfall over the September period whilst other have had very little.
  • As a whole, crops are reportedly looking promising, although good curing conditions over the next fortnight are essential to seeing this convert into quality fodder.
  • Pasture availability continues to be good in most parts of the region.
  • There is a lot of uncertainty in the region with regards to prices going forward as the season unfolds with the expectation that prices will have to ease once the season commences in earnest – it is forecast that hay should be plentiful but quality will be a concern.
  • Cereal hay: -$15 ($220 to $280/t). Prices eased this week due to some poorer quality hay entering the market.
  • Lucerne hay +$20 ($320 to $400/t). Prices rose this week reflecting good quality product hitting the market and limited supply. There is reportedly prime lucerne available for $440/t.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($160 to $185/t). Prices remain steady this week but this is based on limited trade.
  • Pasture hay: N/A at this time.

North Coast NSW

  • There were no price changes this week throughout the North Coast NSW region.
  • The lack of price movement can be attributed to the little fodder purchasing occurring at the present, aside from small quantities to hobby farms.
  • There is reportedly no urgency for farmers to buy with continued pasture availability.
  • There continues to be hay purchased from Central West NSW and transported into the region at competitive prices.
  • The major focus for farmers is now on the season ahead.
  • The weather is reportedly beginning to clear and provides a window for growers to begin harvest.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $250/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $350/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $130/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($130 to $180/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Central West NSW

  • Following some price movement in previous weeks, this week the market was steady with a constant demand for fodder continuing.
  • The talking point of the region is the whether the rain damage to crops will adversely impact upon hay quality, and if so, how badly.
  • Waterlogging and in some parts of the region, flooding, are still causing issues for a number of growers.
  • Most buying continues to be hand to mouth and we’ve seen a real push in demand for straw from dairy farmers as grass feed continues to be abundant.
  • Depending on the weather, lucerne baling should begin around the first week of October with cereal beginning later in October making new season hay available from November.
  • We continue to hear reports of hay moving to the North Coast however this has slowed somewhat recently as is understandable with the new season approaching.
  • The hay currently available in the region can be of variable quality and it is recommended that a feed test and careful inspection of the product be undertaken before purchase.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $250/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($300 to $350/t) If available and quality dependent.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($130 to $150/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 N/A. There are no reports of pasture trading in the region.

Bega Valley

  • There continues to be little change to hay prices in Bega with limited trading taking place.
  • Pockets of hay continue to be available in the Bega region but quality can be varied so careful inspection prior to purchase is recommended.
  • Pasture availability continues to be excellent and is keeping the urgency to buy to a minimum.
  • Also slowing the movement of hay in the impact of milk pricing which continues to see dairy farmers hold off on any significant commitment to purchasing hay.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($230 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week for good quality hay however poorer quality is selling for around $200/t.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($330 to $380/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($100 to $110/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $260/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Goulburn/Murray Valley

  • There were no changes to hay prices this week with almost no hay remaining in the region except for small quantities of lower quality feed.
  • With the focus for most growers now on new season crops, demand at this time has also significantly reduced.
  • Most purchases at this point are for straw as dairy farmers balance out feed with good pasture that is available.
  • Crops in the region are forecast to deliver big yields and are not displaying too much water damage although it is still forecast to be a difficult season to get good quality hay.
  • There are limited prospects for high hay prices for the domestic market due to the potential for good supplies and also for export hay with lower feed test results a potential issue.
  • Fodder being transported out of the region has virtually stopped.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $240/t). Prices have steadied this week with limited supply.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($320 to $350/t). Prices remain steady this week although it is reported that these prices would be the higher end of the price range due to limited availability.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $140/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: No supply reportedly available.


  • Hay trading in the region continues at a slow pace with the no major change to prices this week.
  • The entire Gippsland region has experienced heavy rainfall during the spring period but reports indicate a positive outlook for most growers in terms of crops.
  • The rainfall has more than regenerated grass growth further slowing the demand from farmers to buy feed.
  • A number of potential buyers are now sitting out of the market in anticipation of the new season’s price.
  • There is an expectation that silage production will commence shortly in the region.
  • The last two seasons have seen large quantities of bought in fodder and this has significantly impacted on cash reserves for fodder purchases in the current season.
  • Expectations are that far less fodder will be purchased in the region this season as farmers try to grow their own and cut costs.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($250 to $300/t). Prices remain steady this week on limited supply although these prices would be at the upper end of the market.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($350 to $410/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($130 to $200/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($160 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southwest Victoria

  • Very little hay was traded this week in the South West, with limited available within the region and hefty freight cost keeping buyers out.
  • There was a rise in price this week after some poorer quality feed distorted the market
  • Most farmers will ride out good pasture availability until the new season feed hits the market.
  • This is expected to result in a steep reduction in prices.
  • As a result of the poor dairy situation, a number of farmers have elected to grow more of their own feed this year. This is also currently impacting the number of active buyers in the market.
  • There are still concerns that some crops are too wet and with more forecast rain toward the end of this week, this potential for this issue persists.
  • Silage production is forecast to commence within the next fortnight.
  • As was previously reported, good curing conditions are essential coming into spring to see the season turn into a good production result with ongoing concerns on the trade-off between quantity and quality.
  • Vetch is trading at $320/t which has come back slightly.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($230 to $250/t). Prices remained steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($320 to $340/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($120 to $130/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $230/t).Prices remain steady this week. Very limited trading.

Southeast South Australia

  • The optimistic outlook for the region has taken a slight hit in the past fortnight with heavy spring rainfall soaking a number of crops.
  • Growers are still reporting a bumper season however quality, like much of the South is less of a certainty.
  • The coastal regions of Southeast South Australia remain very wet but inland it improves.
  • Hay demand throughout Southeast South Australia continues to be low.
  • Any hay that is moving in the region is expected to be previously contracted orders.
  • With good pasture availability, there is little immediacy from buyers who do not need supply and who can afford to wait for the new season supplies to enter the market.
  • The impact of the poor milk prices continues to limit cash flow for farmer and slow substantial orders also.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 (290-340/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($100 to $120/t). Prices were steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($160 to 240/t) Prices were steady this week. Note that there is limited supply in the region at this time.

Central South Australia

  • The market in Central South Australia is still at a standstill with virtually no demand for hay reported.
  • Despite this slow market the area has one of the best supplies of stored premium cereal hay in the country.
  • The current season is very good with the current forecast for an above average production year and good yields.
  • Prices for cereal hay have risen this week. The previous week’s reductions were reflective of poorer quality feed moving to make room in sheds.
  • Cereal hay: +$20 ($180 to 210/t). Prices have risen this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($280 to 320/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($100 to $110/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: N/A. No reported trading.

Southwest Western Australia

  • Small volumes of fodder continue to move around the region, but trading is described as slow with limited new orders.
  • Reports indicate that some parts of the region have now begun harvest while others with later crops are still a while away. The bulk of the harvest is set to get going in the coming fortnight.
  • Too wet or water-logged crops remain an issue in some areas which will have an adverse impact on the quality of some of the hay produced.
  • Some farmers have expressed concern over the likely saturation of the market this season. This will bring about a significant easing of prices and a buyers market however.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 (470 to 520). Prices remain steady.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($90 to $110/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($150 to $200/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Northwest Tasmania

  • Despite prices having eased significantly over the past fortnight, hay trading continues to slow in the region.
  • The ongoing issue of milk price continues to restrict dairy farmer buying activity with many now focussing on growing and utilising as much home grown feed as possible.
  • Sheep and beef farmers are continuing to keep the market going enjoying far better prices.
  • Wet conditions are reportedly causing issues with some crops, particularly cereal crops and with further rain forecast toward the end of this week, these concerns persist.
  • Grain prices are reportedly very competitive at the present time with ASW Wheat being purchased at <$300/t landed.
  • Cereal hay: -$35 ($230 to 270/t) Prices have eased this week.
  • Lucerne hay: -$13 ($330 to 350/t) Prices have eased this week however this is based on limited availability.
  • Straw: -$15 ($150 to 170/t) Pries have eased this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($240 to 260/t) Prices remain steady this week.

Hay Report - 19 August 2016

National Summary

  • There were few changes to hay prices this week as limited trading took place across the country. Most growers are now focussed on the new season ahead with comments on the outlook predominantly positive. A soft winter has ensured good growth for crops from North to South but for many, the right curing conditions will be the difference in order to transfer this into quality fodder. Farmers are warning hay producers to take care when producing hay this season, as high moisture is likely resulting in a number of risk issues for the market.
  • While there is still good volumes of hay being traded, new orders are scarce, as farmers now seem reluctant to enter the market. We expect to see this slow, stagnant market continue until new season hay has fully entered the market.

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Hay Report - 12 August 2016

National Summary

  • This week we saw a mostly slow hay market reported across the nation. This has been the case for a number of weeks and the same factors continue to have an impact on trading. These include good rainfall and the resulting pasture availability for most regions which have limited the urgency for farmers to buy feed. Tight supply is also having an impact as often large freight costs are keeping prices high, particularly in the South.
  • It must be noted that there were a number of regions that showed prices easing this week, mostly at the bottom end of the pricing scale. This is the result of growers trying to move fodder in a stagnant market. This hay was, for many, held onto in anticipation of another short break. Now that this is unlikely to be the case, the feed must be moved to make room in sheds for the new season’s production.
  • Dramatic, widespread changes in demand and/or pricing are not expected now until the new season’s crop enters the market.

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Hay Report - 22 July 2016

National Summary

  • This week we heard similar reports around the nation of a generally slow hay market and limited interest in buying. A number of farmers are attributing this to the time of year and a likely return to what is shaping up to be a ‘normal’ spring. Rainfall continues to fall steadily around the country and the combination of good pasture availability and positive looking crops have created an optimistic outlook for farmers.
  • Tight cash flow and in some areas limited supply of hay are adding to the slow market. There are comments that suggest this lull will now continue until prices ease as farmers try a get rid of last season’s stock.

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Hay Report - 15 July 2016

National Summary

  • Despite two weeks since our last report, there were limited changes in hay prices this week. Many farmers put this down to the time of year, with new crops in and seemingly going well around the country. This has been boosted by helpful rainfall in most regions and pasture is now in good supply across the board. The only obvious exception to this is parts of Queensland, which are still in drought.
  • However there was notable increase in trading this week. Reports indicate that the initial rainfall resulted in a pause in buying, but now farmers are again entering the market. This continues to be in small quantities for the most part however, as tight cash flow is a problem for many in the diary industry.

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