National Summary

  • Relatively dry conditions across the Downs and some southern areas have prompted an increase of enquiries by buyers and the hay market has increased trading during the past week.
  • Bega Valley and Gippsland have continued to experience good growing conditions with many farms utilising on farm silage. There are still reports however of the chaff mills continuing to seek high grade lucerne and oaten hay.
  • Proactive sellers in some regions are reporting having sold or forward contracted all of their hay. Anyone looking to buy hay in the coming season should contact their trusted hay supplier to secure supply.

Northern Australia

  • Enquiries for cereal hay have increased in the past week, mainly as a result of the Downs and north-western NSW remaining quite dry. There is still interest in high quality hay, and as always there is keen interest in protein hay.
  • Hay prices in South East Queensland are holding and are likely to remain this way thanks to the firm cattle prices and demand from the feedlots.

Southern Australia

  • The Murray/Goulburn Valley continues to dry off with speculation that the demand for hay will increase.
  • Good growing conditions in the Bega Valley have resulted in many fodder users opting to utilise on farm silage and as a result, prices have softened for pasture and cereal hay.
  • Sporadic rain over the past fortnight across several southern regions has resulted in continued on-farm fodder conservation.

Western Australia

  • Cereal hay supplies are about average at present thanks to a good hay season in the key export hay growing regions. There are reports of hay starting to trade on the back of feedlot demand however the prices are remaining steady as there is adequate supply to meet demand.
  • Lucerne availability continues to be very limited in the west.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • Nothing significant to report from the tablelands as the hay market continues to remain quiet.
  • Hay cutting continues to occur when conditions are favourable.
  • The trade in fodder is expected to increase within the next month with demand coming cattle producers looking for hay for weaning.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $320/t). Prices remain steady.

Darling Downs

  • Prices for hay and straw are generally holding due to low supplies following last year’s dry conditions.
  • With dry conditions persisting across the Downs and north-western NSW, the demand for hay is on the increase after a lull in trade since Christmas.
  • Ongoing feedlot demand for roughage is contributing to an optimistic outlook among sellers for the season ahead.
  • Cereal hay: – $20 ($360 to $380/t). A drop in prices was noted this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($450 to $500/t). The market for lucerne hay remains firm but steady. Lack of supply expected to keep prices steady.
  • Straw: +/- $0 ($180 to $200/t). Prices remain steady this week with limited reports of trading.
  • Pasture hay: – $80 ($300 to $340/t). Prices confirmed based on recent sales, lower prices are a correction to previously reported estimates.

North Coast NSW

  • Regular rainfall in the past month has created challenges for growers to cut hay and make silage. The recent five day window of dry weather last week proving one of the few opportunities for fodder conservation.
  • The rain during baling has caused occasional patchiness in quality and, as always, to ensure you get the quality you expect buyers are advised to use a trusted hay supplier.
  • The lucerne trade is easing but the demand for high quality chaffing hay is still strong.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/- $0 ($300-$370/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($120 to $160/t). Prices are steady but are based on limited trading.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 N/A. Only limited pasture hay available at present and very few reports of trading in bulk quantities.

Central West NSW

  • Although conditions in many areas of the central west are dry we are not yet seeing an increase in the demand for hay.
  • The values of hay stocks in the shed are remaining steady, although it is difficult to gauge an accurate price when trading is relatively quiet.
  • Most hay stocks are good at present, with the exception of lucerne, which continues to be in short supply. At the same time chaff mills continue to be active buyers of high grade lucerne hay.
  • Cereal hay: +/- $0 ($220 to $250/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/- $ ($290 to $400/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 N/A. There are no reports of straw being traded this week which is mainly attributed to low stocks and slow demand.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 N/A. There are no reports of new season pasture hay trading yet.

Bega Valley

  • Favourable growing conditions in the Bega region have continued to result in very little off-farm demand for hay.
  • Overall good stocks of cereal hay are available in the Bega Valley region.
  • Again it is noted that supplies of lucerne hay are low in most parts of eastern Australia, particularly in the dry land production areas.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($260 to $300/t). Prices have levelled off this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($380 to $400/t). Prices remain firm but steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($180 to $200/t). Straw prices remain steady but supplies are low.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $260/t). Prices have leveled off this week.

Goulburn/Murray Valley

  • Following average summer rain fall conditions are now drying off. We are now seeing some growers beginning to pre-irrigate preparing for the season ahead.
  • Lucerne growers are satisfied overall with hay quality this season and are continuing to get good production.
  • The outlook on the coming maize harvest remains positive with continuing good growing conditions.
  • Cereal hay: +/- $0 ($200 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $320/t). Prices remain steady with high grade lucerne fetching a premium.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($90 to $110/t). Prices remain steady as trading is limited.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($150 to $170/t). Prices continue to remain steady.


  • The local market for hay in Gippsland continues to be quiet, with most people utilising their stocks of silage. There has been some interest in protein hay but generally the trade remains slow.
  • Fodder conservation continues in Gippsland with growers continuing to build up silage stocks.
  • Favourable growing conditions have resulted in a good hay harvest across most of the region and pasture hay supplies are generally good.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($350 to $380/t). There is some indication that prices are starting to ease due to the slowing demand.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $130/t). Trading is slow and prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: -$5 ($170 to $220/t). The prices this week are slightly lower, based on reports of trading at lower end of the range.

Southwest Victoria

  • Overall, the hay market has been quiet this week with some sellers beginning to accept prices at the lower end of the quoted range.
  • Rainfall towards the end of the summer season has continued to benefit pasture growth and therefore reduce the demand for purchased feed.
  • There continues to be some interest in in baling straw, quality is good and supplies are also good.
  • Cereal hay: -$10 ($200 to $240/t). Prices lower this week with reports of cereal hay trading within the quoted range.
  • Lucerne hay: -$5 ($300 to $320/t). Prices slightly lower this week based on small volumes of trade.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $120/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: -$10 ($180 to $220/t). Prices this week are slightly lower with some growers beginning to accept prices at the lower end of the range.

Southeast South Australia

  • During the past week there have been more reports of interest from graziers as conditions are tending to be very dry in many areas.
  • The low stocks of available hay are driven by the combination of many buyers sourcing hay early and dry conditions driving down yields. Overall this has resulted in prices remaining firm.
  • Overall supplies are below average for this time of year, with lucerne hay remaining in short supply. It is expected that demand for hay will increase once the cold weather arrives.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $260/t). Prices remain firm but steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/- $0 ($300 to $350/t). Prices remain steady this week and are firm for this time of year.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($105 to $115/t). Very little straw is trading at present. Supplies are low and prices remain steady.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($180 to $220/t). Prices for new season pasture hay remain steady this week.

Central South Australia

  • The hay market continues to be quiet and demand from the eastern states and northern territory is down compared with the same time in previous seasons.
  • The quality of new season hay is good but yields are down.
  • Many hay growers are reporting that much of their hay is either sold or under contract. This suggests that hay availability may come under pressure later in the year.
  • Cereal hay: +/- $0 ($180 to $220/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $330/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($120 to $130/t). Prices remain steady this week and trading is limited.
  • Pasture hay: N/A. No reported trading.

Southwest Western Australia

  • Reports during the week are that stocks are hay are starting to move, with feedlots starting to make enquiries.
  • Spring rains caused some quality issues but there is plenty of high quality hay still available.
  • Prices for high quality chaffing hay continue to hold.
  • Cereal hay: +/- $0 ($160 to $180/t). Prices remain steady this week but may fluctuate in the coming months.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($480 to $520/t). Prices remained firm this week with generally very little variation on the lucerne hay market due to the short supply available in WA.
  • Straw+/-$0 ($90 to $110/t). Limited trading of late, prices remain unchanged.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($150 to 180/t). Prices remain steady at present due to the limited trading.

Northwest Tasmania

  • During February, rain across many regions in Tasmania was well under the mean rainfall and coupled with only light falls in March, conditions continue to be dry.
  • Hay supply remains tight in northern Tasmania.
  • Buyers looking to secure stocks of hay for the coming months are advised to talk to suppliers now or run the risk of having supply issues.
  • 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 are steady.
  • 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). Prices remain steady this week.