National Summary

  • Hay prices continue to be quite volatile this week, a situation we expect to continue until early 2015 when the supply of hay is better known and outlook for the coming season becomes clearer.
  • Hay growers in most areas are reporting favourable baling conditions and good hay quality. Yields however are more variable, with the dry finish, particularly in the eastern states likely to have a negative impact on hay supply overall.
  • With hay quality good, competition strong and input costs higher this year many growers are setting their opening prices slightly firmer than this time last year.

Northern Australia

  • Lucerne hay production is now well underway and growers with irrigation are reporting good yields, however overall production is expected to be below average and supplies low.
  • Feedlots and livestock producers are already scoping out their 2015 hay supplies. Reports indicate that they are already talking to growers in northern Victoria and South Australia to secure hay for the coming season.
  • On the north coast of NSW the hay season is well underway. Conditions are patchy but close to the coast late winter rains have assisted hay growers achieve reasonable yields.

Southern Australia

  • Silage production is now drawing to a close on what has been a very patchy season. Some areas such as Bega, northern Victoria and north west Tasmania have reported good yields but other regions such as south west Victoria, south east South Australia and southern Tasmania silage production is well below average.
  • The hay season is now well underway with cereal hay nearing completion and first cut lucerne is baled in many areas. Some growers are already moving onto pasture hay.

Western Australia

  • Cereal hay production is largely completed in WA and the grain harvest is well underway. There have been mixed reports on the season with some growers reporting good yields and good quality, but others were impacted by rain which reduced quality.
  • Silage is nearing completion and pasture hay is now underway. Overall growers are reporting favorable conditions and good quality but yields are varied.

Regional Commentary Atherton Tablelands

  • The season is starting to come to an end. Hay producers are considering their options and deciding if watering pasture for further cuts of hay is worthwhile.
  • Conditions are drying off quickly and demand from hobby farmers remains strong. There is also interest from cattle stations however the bulk supply is not available to meet this demand.
  • Hay supplies are likely to run short over the coming months.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($320 to $340/t). Prices remain steady this week after a slight rise last week.

Darling Downs

  • The demand for hay is picking up again as conditions remain hot and dry.
  • Supplies of fodder in southern Queensland remain tight.
  • New season hay becoming available in NSW will ease some supply pressure on the northern market however it is expected supplies will remain tight in 2015.
  • Baling straw has now commenced and contractors are busy trying to keep up with demand. As expected yields are well below average.
  • Cereal hay: +/- $0 ($280 to $320/t). Prices remain steady this week although we expect the price fluctuations seen over the past month to continue into 2015.
  • Lucerne hay: +/- $0 ($400 to $450/t). Prices are steady at present. Hay is moving in from Central West NSW to meet demand as local supplies are low.
  • Straw: +/- $0 ($180 to $200/t). Like other fodder varieties prices are speculative. We are seeing fluctuation in the market as new season straw becomes available.
  • Pasture hay: N/A. Due to the poor growing conditions over the past few months very little pasture hay has been made in 2014. Trading is limited as a result.

North Coast NSW

  • The hay market is steady as conditions start to dry off.
  • Tight cash flow is impacting some buyers who are choosing to hold off on hay purchases for as long as possible.
  • New season hay coming onto the market has eased some pressure on the tight supply. If conditions stay dry it is expected new season hay will move quickly.
  • Lucerne hay production in the New England region is expected to be below average. This may put pressure on the local lucerne hay market and generate increased competition for buyers in the coming months.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week. Supplies are below average.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($300-$320/t). Prices remain firm but steady this week. We expect protein hay to move quickly this year and encourage buyers to talk to their hay suppliers now.
  • Straw: +/-$0 N/A There are no reports of straw trading yet however straw production has commenced in the north of the state. New season straw should become available locally in the next month.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 N/A. There is very little pasture hay available at present and have been no reports of trading.

Central West NSW

  • Trading is steady but there has been a lot of interest from buyers, particularly hay traders, looking to secure their 2015 hay supplies.
  • Many buyers from outside the region are actively seeking new season hay. Supplies are likely to become tight in early 2015 if the steady demand continues.
  • The hay season is now well underway with growers are optimistic about both yields and quality. Some dry land areas have been impacted by the dry finish.
  • Cereal hay: -$10 ($180 to $220/t). The variation in pricing has opened up slightly this week due to the quality of cereal hay available. We expect fluctuations in pricing to continue in the coming months.
  • Lucerne hay: +$20 ($300 to $320/t). This week prices strengthened slightly due to increased demand and expectation that supply will be short.
  • Straw: +/-$0 N/A. There are no reports of straw being traded this week mainly attributed to low stocks and slow demand. New season straw pricing should become available in the coming months.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 N/A. There are no reports of new season pasture hay trading yet. New season pasture hay should become available in the coming months and there is general interest in baling pasture hay.

Bega Valley

  • Silage is well underway and it has been a very big season. Yields are average or better and contractors have been busy working to keep up with demand.
  • Some cereal hay and early pasture hay is now being cut but the hay harvest will really commence in earnest in a few weeks’ time.
  • Demand for hay has been slow due to the favourable pasture growth conditions however speculation on tight hay supplies in 2015 is seeing some buyers start to lock in their supplies for the year ahead.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $260/t). Cereal hay prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +$10 ($360 to $380/t). Prices strengthened slightly this week as the first of the new season lucerne hay is being sold into the region. Lucerne hay supply will be tight in 2015 and further price rises are expected.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($180 to $200/t). Straw prices remain steady with supplies low due to a late rush on demand in August.
  • Pasture hay: +$20 ($200 to $250/t). Pasture hay prices picked up again this week. New season hay quality is much higher than in 2013 resulting in firmer opening prices this year. Price fluctuations are expected in the coming months as the outlook on the coming season becomes clearer.

Goulburn/Murray Valley

  • The hay season is now well underway. Yields are reported to be average or better and quality is good.
  • The demand for hay is starting to pick up, particularly from regions outside of the GV such as south west Victoria and Gippsland where conditions are dry.
  • Exporters have been active buyers to date with a focus on sourcing high grade cereal hay.
  • Hay growers are predicting that hay supplies will be tight in 2015. Especially if the season stays dry. This is a good indication that now is the right time to start talking to your hay supplier to secure your 2015 hay.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($180 to $200/t). Prices remain steady at present. It is expected there will be some fluctuation in the market coming into 2015.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($300 to $320/t). Prices strengthened slightly this week driven by tightening vetch supplies and high water prices. Protein hay supplies are expected to be tight in 2015.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($90 to $110/t). Prices remain steady as trading is limited.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($150 to $170/t). Prices remain steady this week and are unlikely to vary too much in the short term.


  • Silage is starting to come to an end with variation in yields reported across the region but generally silage production is about average.
  • Hay is about to commence. With the season drying off quickly growers keen to make hay this year will have to act early.
  • It is expected hay yields will be down.
  • Paddock feed may start to come under pressure if there are not decent follow up rains in the coming weeks. Without rain activity in the hay market will pick up. It is likely that the hay market will be tight in 2015 and buyers are encouraged to act early in order to secure their 2015 hay supplies, particularly for vetch or lucerne hay.
  • Cereal hay: +$20 ($260 to $280/t). Prices strengthened this week. Higher quality of new season cereal hay, increased demand on the domestic market and strong competition from the export market are the key contributing factors.
  • Lucerne hay: +$35 ($350 to $360/t). New season lucerne is now coming onto the market but tight supplies and high water prices continue to see prices rise. Tightening vetch supplies also impacting prices.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $130/t). Trading is slow and prices remain steady this week.
  • – Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($180 to $220/t). Prices remain steady. New season pasture hay is likely to come on line in the next month or so.

Southwest Victoria

  • Silage is coming to an end in south west Victoria and hay is starting to commence in some areas. Yields are well below average raising some concern about fodder supplies for the coming year.
  • Hay traders are reporting lots of enquiries for new season hay. Buyers seeking new season hay in 2015 are encouraged to lock in their supplies early.
  • Protein (lucerne and vetch) hay supply is likely to be tight in 2015. This is due to a combination of lower than average yields and high water prices.
  • The 2014 pasture hay harvest is not looking promising at this stage.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($180 to $220/t). Prices remain steady this week. There has been some fluctuation in cereal hay pricing over the past month which is likely to continue into 2015.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $320/t). Pricing remains steady this week. Fluctuations in pricing are expected over the next few months as demand for hay picks up and the seasonal outlook becomes clearer.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $120/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($140 to $160/t). There are limited reports of old season pasture hay trading. New season prices are likely to open much firmer due to the predicted shortfall of new season pasture hay.

Southeast South Australia

  • Demand remains steady and there are plenty of enquiries for new season hay.
  • At present hay supply is fairly hand to mouth, particularly for new season cereal hay.
  • With the dry finish to the season and lower than average yields for both hay and silage through the south east it is expected hay supply will be tight in 2015. Lucerne hay will be particularly tight.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $220/t). Prices remain steady at present.
  • Lucerne hay: +$5 ($300 to $330/t). Prices picked up slightly this week and as supply is tight we expect prices to remain firm into 2015.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($105 to $115/t). Very little straw is trading at present. Supplies are low and prices remain steady.
  • Pasture hay: +$25 ($160 to $180/t). Prices have strengthened over the past few weeks with new season hay coming onto the market and the expected short fall in supply being the key drivers. Higher quality hay than 2013 is a factor in the firm opening price.

Central South Australia

  • The hay harvest is now in its closing stages and growers have moving onto grain. Across the region yields have varied from just below to just above average. Overall quality is high.
  • There is already interest in new season hay from both domestic buyers and exporters are active in securing cereal hay with a focus on high quality hay.
  • Lot feeders and larger producers in QLD are already making enquiries for local new season cereal hay.
  • There is some demand for new season hay from hobby farmers in the Adelaide Hills.
  • Demand from farmers in the south east is also starting to pick up as the season dries out.
  • Cereal hay: + $10 ($180 to $220/t). We are currently seeing fluctuations in pricing. Increased demand is helping keep prices up but further price movement is expected until next year’s seasonal outlook becomes clearer.
  • Lucerne hay: -$15 ($280 to $330/t). Prices are fluctuating at present. Prices softened slightly this week with reports of some protein hay trading around $280/t slightly down on earlier reports. As more new season lucerne comes onto the market further variation is pricing is expected.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($120 to $130/t). Prices remain steady following the trend of recent months in the straw market. Looking to the 2014/15 straw season yields may be slightly down which could impact supply.
  • Pasture hay: N/A. No reported trading of late.

Southwest Western Australia

  • With the silage season almost complete, growers are starting to get into hay.
  • Pasture hay is currently being cut and quality is expected to be good. Yields have varied in the south west but overall it appears they will be about average across the region.
  • Cereal hay production is now coming to an end with a large amount of new season cereal hay being affected by rain prior to baling. There is however hay that wasn’t impacted by rain, which is generally of high quality with good colour.
  • Exporters are keen to source good quality hay this season. There may be an opportunity to secure lower grade hay at competitive prices over the coming months.
  • Cereal hay: +/- $0 ($160 to $180/t). Prices remain steady this week but they are likely to fluctuate in the coming weeks as the quantity and quality of new season hay becomes clearer.
  • Lucerne hay: -$25 ($480 to $520/t). Despite easing slightly this week prices are still firm. Lucerne hay is usually in short supply through WA and prices may fluctuate further in the coming weeks with the new season hay becoming available.
  • Straw+/-$0 ($85 to $115/t). Limited trading of late, prices remain unchanged.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($150 to 180/t). New season pasture hay is now coming online. Quality and yields are reported to be good, although there is some variation depending on the region.

Northwest Tasmania

  • Silage production is now well underway and thanks to the wet winter yields have been favourable. Some growers are already into their second cut of silage.
  • Silage quality should be good high this season, especially for growers who acted early to cut their silage.
  • There are some early reports of silage being traded at around $70/ bale. Buyers are reminded that they should always get a feed analysis for silage prior to purchase and that it is preferable to buy silage per tonne of dry matter rather than by the bale.
  • The season is now starting to dry off which could impact pasture hay production later in the year if follow up rains are not received.
  • Hay production is just getting going, with some cereal hay being cut in the past week.
  • Prices are fairly speculative as on farm fodder supplies are low and new season hay is still a few weeks away.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $240/t). Cereal hay availability is very limited but prices remain steady.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($300 to $320/t). Prices remained steady this week as the new season is not too far away.
  • Straw+/-$0 ($170 to $190/t). There is limited demand for straw with pasture hay being a more favourable alternative.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($170 to $190/t). If there is no follow up rain in the coming week’s prices may start to rise with increased demand.