National Summary

  • Dry conditions across many regions have prompted an increase in interest from buyers about securing fodder for the winter ahead however significant price movement has not yet been noted in the market. There is still little confidence about when the autumn break might occur. With the forecast of wet weather over Easter, many growers are hopeful for rain (rather than light showers) to aid the establishment of their annual pastures.
  • Following reports that many hay marketers, particularly in SA, WA and Tasmania, 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.
  • The general scarcity of lucerne continues across many regions, particularly in south east Queensland and Western Australia. 
  • Drier autumn conditions in the regions across the south east have resulted in producers utilising their silage stocks built up over summer. Some producers are beginning to contemplate purchasing hay while annual pastures are being establishing.

Northern Australia

  • As expected for this time of year, growers on the Atherton Tableland are continuing to cut hay in between bursts of rain.
  • 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 southern 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.
  • As a result of the dry conditions in Western Victoria and the south east of South Australia, this week has reports of an increase of enquiries from buyers from both dairy farmers and graziers seeking supplementary feed.
  • Good stocks of on-farm silage in the Bega Valley and Gippsland have resulted in the prices for pasture and cereal hay remaining flat and there has been only a slight increase in the demand for hay.

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. Growers are optimistic about the next hay season.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • Current trade in Rhodes grass is meeting market demand and no price fluctuations have been reported this week.
  • Hay cutting is underway with growers making hay when the weather is favourable working around the wet seasonal conditions.
  • 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

  • There are still reasonable quantities of cereal hay available for sale, although potential buyers are advised to make arrangements earlier rather than later in order to secure good quality hay.
  • The south eastern corner has had a good summer season for pasture hay.
  • A rise in the number of queries for hay has been reported during the past fortnight, following relatively quiet trading conditions over summer.
  • Ongoing feedlot demand for roughage is contributing to an optimistic outlook among sellers for the season ahead.
  • Cereal hay: -$5 (350 to $380/t). The average price is slightly lower this week reflecting sales at the lower end of the range.
  • 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 drier than average conditions during March, there is an expectation that demand for fodder will begin to increase in the coming months.
  • Following the good growing season on the coast over summer, many producers are utilising on farm fodder and have not yet needed to purchase additional feed from off farm.
  • 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 and get a feed analysis.
  • Lucerne availability and trade remains low.
  • 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 however there is hope of rain which is forecast over the Easter break.
  • General reports have been received of smaller bales selling at a steady pace; however large bales have been slower to move and are still in good supply. This is perhaps reflective of lifestyle/horse buyers being active in the market.
  • Relatively quiet trading conditions prevail this week.
  • 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

  • After good summer rainfall and growing conditions, March has recorded less than a quarter of the median rainfall and accordingly paddocks are beginning to dry off.
  • Producers are continuing to utilise on farm supplies of silage and hay. As a result of this fodder conservation occurring, the demand for fodder to be purchased into the Bega region remains negligible.
  • 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 remain steady 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.
  • Despite the dry conditions, the hay market remains very quiet.
  • Prices for fodder are being underpinned by the buoyant beef cattle market.
  • 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: +/-$0 ($180 to $220/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.


  • Dairy farmers are continuing to take advantage of their stocks of conserved fodder. On farm silage has been well utilised across the region during a dry start to autumn.
  • Hay sales have picked up as producers are choosing to mix dry fodder with the green feed available on establishing annual pastures.
  • Favourable growing conditions have resulted in a good hay yields across most of the region. This has seen a reduced demand in purchased fodder and as a result prices are remaining steady.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($350 to $380/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $130/t). Trading is slow and prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($170 to $220/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southwest Victoria

  • Sellers are reporting a lift in interest from buyers this week. The range of prices quoted continues to reflect the difference between the higher and lower quality of hay available.
  • There is an expectation of prices firming if the autumn break arrives late.
  • The supply of protein hay remains tight but there are opportunities to access vetch from the Wimmera and Mallee. This should assist with meeting the market demands for fodder as the season progresses but buyers looking to access protein has are encouraged to act soon.
  • 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

  • Overall, conditions remain very dry across the south east of South Australia.
  • Hay is on the move and an increase in enquiries from buyers has been reported. So far the increase in trade has not translated to a change in price for any of the hay grades.
  • 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.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($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

  • Hay is being traded into areas such as the Adelaide Hills, where pasture availability has been compromised by the lack of rain.
  • The quality of new season hay continues to be good but stocks are limited following below average yields at harvest.
  • Many hay growers are reporting that much of their hay is either sold or under contract. Some buyers are commenting that hay is difficult to find, 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.
  • Overall, there is an optimistic outlook towards the next hay season, with growers feeling confident that there are solid options in the hay market for their product.
  • 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

  • Dry autumn conditions persist in the northwest, with very little excess hay supplies being available.
  • With the weather turning cooler some buyers looking further south to secure supplies of quality hay. This is seeing freight costs add to hay prices.
  • 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 with limited supply.
  • 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.