National Summary

  • Many areas across the eastern and southern regions of Australia received much needed rainfall during the Easter weekend. The rain however was patchy and has had no apparent effect on the hay market. Many sellers are holding firm with their minimum prices, particularly for hay produced on irrigation where production costs are higher.
  • Stocks of cereal and pasture hay are accessible to buyers in most regions however there is the possibility of shortages arising in some areas due to some sellers holding onto hay for their own stock needs if they anticipate a late break in the season.
  • Sales of lucerne and vetch have been reported in the southern regions, particularly by dairy farmers looking to provide their animals with adequate protein while waiting for their emerging or newly sown annual pastures to properly establish.
  • The general scarcity of protein hay continues across many regions, particularly in south east Queensland and Western Australia.

Northern Australia

  • The market in the Atherton region is currently stable with sufficient stocks to meet demand.
  • The market for cereal hay is relatively quiet at the moment, with the expectation that demand will increase heading into May.
  • The south east corner of Queensland between the coast and the escarpment has experienced a good summer growing season and large quantities of pasture hay have been accumulated.

Southern Australia

  • Rainfall was welcomed across many regions of southern Australia this week. Hay sellers are generally reporting quiet trading conditions, and it seems that buyers are holding hope for more rain to assist with establishment of annual pastures and general pasture growth.
  • Reports have been received of dairy farmers in South Australia seeking lucerne hay to help their animals meet their protein requirements, and to avoid over-grazing emerging pasture growth.
  • Good stocks of on-farm silage in the Bega Valley and Gippsland continue to be utilised. As a flow on effect, the demand for purchased hay is reduced compared with previous seasons.

Western Australia

  • Cereal hay supply is meeting demand in the south west and prices are keeping steady. Quality hay is still finding a market and the prices are remaining firm. The good hay season in the key export hay growing regions has helped growers form a good opinion about their prospects for next season.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • The market in the Atherton tablelands continues to be steady with supply expected to be sufficient to meet demand during the wet season.
  • The cutting of Rhodes grass continues when the weather is favourable.
  • We have seen a slight rise in the trade in the market this week due to cattle producers’ seeking feed for early weaners, but this is yet to impact on prices.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $320/t). Prices remain steady.

Darling Downs

  • Very light, scattered showers fell across the Downs over the Easter weekend.
  • Little has changed in the hay market during the past week however there is an expectation that trade will pick up around May when cattle producers are likely to need additional feed for weaners.
  • There are still reasonable quantities of good quality cereal hay available for sale, although 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.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 (350 to $380/t). The price remains steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($450 to $500/t). The market for lucerne hay remains firm but steady. Lack of supply is expected to keep prices steady.
  • Straw: +/- $0 ($180 to $200/t). Prices remain steady this week with limited reports of trading.
  • Pasture hay: +/- $0 ($280 to $320/t). No change reported this week

North Coast NSW

  • Heavy rainfall over the Easter weekend has made much of the north coast very damp. Many dairy farmers are in the midst of establishing ryegrass pastures.
  • Quiet trading conditions persist in the hay market with many farmers continuing to utilise on farm fodder and therefore have not needed to purchase additional feed.
  • As a result of the rain during baling the quality of cereal hay is varied. Given the potential for 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

  • Some growers are tending to hold onto their hay stocks until the autumn break arrives and delaying the decision to place surplus stock on the market. Prices remain firm with growers who supply irrigated grown hay seeking to recoup the costs of their investment.
  • Growers that have hay on the market are finding that cereal hay is selling reasonably well, although we are yet to have any change in reported prices. If a late break eventuates it is anticipated that shortages in cereal hay will occur.
  • Lucerne hay at the lower end of the price range is in good supply and buyers considering purchasing protein hay should find it relatively easy to secure supply.
  • 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

  • Between 15mm and 70mm of rainfall was recorded across the district in the past few days.
  • Demand for hay continues to be slow as dairies are continuing to utilise on farm supplies of silage and hay. Very small quantities of fodder are being transported into the Bega region and the price for cereal hay appears to be steady.
  • 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

  • The hay market at the moment is relatively quiet and there are good buying opportunities for cereal and pasture hay.
  • Some hay sellers have sold out of their cereal hay stocks to proactive buyers anticipating their fodder needs in advance.
  • Prices for fodder are being underpinned by the buoyant beef cattle market.
  • Lucerne growers are satisfied overall with the quality of their product this season and starting to take orders from buyers.
  • 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 and in addition to this there has been some trade of maize silage reported.
  • Hay sales are still relatively quiet, although some livestock farmers are choosing to buy in hay supplement stock and help give new pastures every chance to establish successfully.
  • 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

  • Reports have been received this week of cereal hay being traded from the Wimmera into the dairy region of south western Victoria.
  • The supply of protein hay remains tight but there are opportunities to access vetch from the Wimmera and Mallee. Vetch provides a good alternative protein source to lucerne and is comparable on price. Buyers looking to access protein hay are encouraged to contact their trusted hay supplier.
  • Good quality straw has been trading and is still available in decent quantities.
  • 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

  • Many primary producers across the south east of South Australia are breathing a sigh of relief after the first decent fall of rain during the past week.
  • The hay market is relatively unchanged with enquiries tending not to translate into sales at this stage. Sellers are generally keeping busy delivering existing orders into the dairy region but no reports of any change in prices have been received.
  • Newly sown and emerging pastures need to be carefully managed, and some producers are relying on purchased fodder to meet the feed gap that often occurs at this time of year.
  • 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

  • Many areas across the central region received the first solid rainfall (up to 50ml in some areas) in eight months.
  • Some dairy farmers have responded to relatively low protein levels in cereal hay by purchasing lucerne hay to help meet their animals’ nutrition requirements.
  • 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

  • No change in the hay market has been reported in recent weeks.
  • 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

  • Relatively quiet trading conditions at the moment, with no reports of any price fluctuations.
  • With the weather turning cooler some buyers looking to the regions in the south of Tasmania 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 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.