National Summary

  • The slow and steady nature fodder market continues this week with demand staying lower than average for this time of year. With the weather starting to cool and the autumn break yet to arrive in many key regions it is expected that demand will pick up at some stage but when this will occur is unknown for now. As there are reports thay many hay marketers, particularly in SA and WA, have already sold the majority of their hay anyone looking to buy hay in the coming season should contact their trusted hay supplier to secure supply.
  • There are some markets that continue to seek out cereal hay, mainly exporters and chaff mills.
  • The general scarcity of lucerne continues across many regions, particularly in south east Queensland and Western Australia. 
  • Bega Valley and Gippsland have continued to experience good growing conditions with farmers taking the opportunity to make further silage.

Northern Australia

  • Growers in the Far North are continuing to cut hay, and thankfully many growers were not seriously affected by the recent cyclonic activity. The south east corner of Queensland between the coast and the escarpment has experienced a good summer growing season and stocks of pasture hay are continuing to build. Further west, conditions remain dry and the demand for fodder is increasing.
  • Cereal hay prices in South East Queensland continue to hold 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 ongoing speculation that the demand for hay will increase if the break is late.
  • If the dry conditions persist in Western Victoria, it is expected that the demand for hay will increase with graziers seeking supplementary feed for cattle and sheep.
  • Good stocks of silage in the Bega Valley and Gippsland have resulted in the prices for pasture and cereal hay remaining flat.

Western Australia

  • Cereal hay supplies are about average at present thanks to a good hay season in the key export hay growing regions. Good quality hay is well sought after and prices are remaining firm.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • Quiet trading conditions continue in the Atherton region with no movement in prices reported.
  • Hay cutting continues when weather conditions are favourable. The edges of Tropical Cyclone Nathan resulted in moderate rainfalls earlier in the week, slowing hay production where it hit.
  • Reports have been received of an increase in the number of enquiries for hay due to some cattle producers starting to wean early.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $320/t). Prices remain steady.

Darling Downs

  • The south eastern corner has had a good summer season for pasture hay with stocks expected to remain in good supply for the coming season.
  • Prices for cereal hay and straw are holding due to low supplies following dry conditions in 2014.
  • With dry conditions persisting across the Downs and north-western NSW, the demand for hay is on the increase after a lull in trade.
  • Ongoing feedlot demand for roughage is contributing to an optimistic outlook among sellers for the season ahead.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 360 to $380/t). Prices remain steady 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: – $20 ($280 to $320/t). Prices lower based on recent reports of trading.

North Coast NSW

  • With a good growing season on the coast, there are limited reports of hay currently trading.  However following drier than average conditions for March, there is an expectation that demand for fodder will increase in the coming months.
  • As a result of the rain during baling, the quality of cereal hay is varied. Given the potential patchiness in quality, buyers are advised to use a trusted hay supplier.
  • There has been very little trade in lucerne reported this past week however the demand for high quality chaffing hay remains constant.
  • 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

  • Conditions in many areas of the central west remain dry and trading is slow this week. However we have seen a slight lift in the number of enquiries for purchasing hay following a very quiet spell.
  • It continues to be challenging to gauge an accurate market price when trading is relatively quiet. The up side is many sellers continue to have good stocks in their sheds.
  • Chaff mills continue to be active buyers of high grade lucerne hay, otherwise trading in lucerne remains quiet. 
  • 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

  • There has been little change in the hay market since the last report due to a good summer season in the Bega region, resulting in good levels of on farm fodder conservation. This has seen demand for fodder going into the Bega region stay slow.
  • 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 leveled 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

  • Conditions continue to remain dry, with the rainfall in March less than a third of the monthly mean and no rain forecast for the remainder of the month.
  • Despite the dry conditions, the hay market remains quiet with reports of the price falling slightly in cereal hay. Good prices still being received for high quality hay being sold to the chaff mills and there is some interest from exporters.
  • Lucerne growers are satisfied overall with the 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: -$20 ($180 to $220/t). Prices lower this week due to flat demand and relatively good supply.
  • 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 trading generally restricted to hobby farmers and other small scale operations. 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 yields across most of the region and pasture hay supply is above average.
  • 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: +/-$0 ($170 to $220/t). The prices this week are slightly lower, based on reports of trading at lower end of the range.

Southwest Victoria

  • Very little trade reported in the hay market in the past fortnight.
  • Sellers reporting a low level of enquiries from buyers and prices have remained steady. There is an expectation of prices firming if autumn continues to be dry.
  • There continues to be some interest in in baling straw, quality is good and supplies are also good.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($300 to $320/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $120/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($180 to $220/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southeast South Australia

  • Sporadic rainfall across areas of the south east of South Australia has seen some areas receive rain and others remain dry.
  • The low stocks of available hay are driven by the combination of many buyers sourcing hay early and dry conditions driving down yields at harvest.
  • 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: -$10 ($220 to $260/t). Prices slightly lower this week, reflecting reported sales of cereal hay at the lower end of the quality range.
  • 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 demand for hay is increasing due to the very dry conditions, particularly from the Adelaide Hills, having not received any significant rainfall for over two months.
  • The quality of new season hay is good but yields were down on average.
  • Many hay growers are reporting that much of their hay is either sold or under contract. Rolls for sale are reported to be becoming scarce, however no shift in prices has been reported yet.
  • 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 that stocks of high quality cereal hay for the local market are limited due to the existing contractual arrangements with export hay buyers.
  • Prices for high quality chaffing hay continue to hold.
  • A reminder to buyers to carefully check for any weather damaged hay (e.g. at the edge of the sheds) before agreeing to purchase. Using a trusted supplier will limit your risk of buying lower quality hay with high levels of weed seed.
  • 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

  • Limited rainfalls in March, coupled with extremely low falls in February, have resulted in very dry autumn conditions.
  • Hay supply remains tight in northern Tasmania, with buyers on the north-west looking further south in order to secure supply.   
  • 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.