National Summary

  • Cooler conditions have triggered an increase in the demand and general interest for hay across many of the southern regions. However, the increase in demand has not yet translated into an increase in hay prices; instead we are seeing growers setting prices to meet the market.
  • Stocks of cereal and pasture hay are accessible to buyers inmost regions. It should be noted that there is some discussion around thepossibility of hay shortages arising in central South Australia due to theextremely dry conditions experienced during the spring/summer period.
  • Lucerne and vetch are continuing to be popular with dairyproducers seeking additional protein to meet animals’ needs for autumn calving.

Northern Australia

  • The market in the Atherton region is currently stable with sufficient stocks to meet demand.
  • The market for cereal hay is remains quiet, with the expectation that demand will increase during the winter months.
  • The south eastern Downs have had a good finish to the hay season, with the last cuts of high quality lucerne soon to be baled.

Southern Australia

  • Arrival of cooler weather has coincided with a notable increase in the demand for hay across many of the southern regions. Dairy farmers and other livestock producers are bridging the feed gap that occurs at this time of year while waiting for their pastures to properly establish. However it remains a buyers’ market as the quiet trading conditions of recent times have left many sellers willing to shift stock now rather than continue waiting for the market to move.
  • Lucerne is selling in South Australia, although it has been reported that lower grade lucerne is shifting at higher volumes than premium grade lucerne possibly due to dairy farmers requiring additional protein for their animals on a tight budget.
  • The demand for purchased hay in Bega is still very low. Reports on an increase of trade in Gippsland are as a result of some dairy farmers’ silage stocks beginning to run low.

Western Australia

  • A slight boost to cereal hay prices has been reported on the back of reliable export demand and stocks becoming more limited. 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

  • No changes to report in the hay market during the past couple of weeks in the Atherton region.
  • The cutting of Rhodes grass continues when the weather is favourable.
  • The prices remain steady this week as expected for this time of year and the current conditions.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $320/t). Prices remain steady.

Darling Downs

  • The south eastern downs have had a good finish to the season with one more cut of lucerne expected within the next week.
  • The hay market has remained quiet during the past fortnight, with prices steady and not expected to rise until the winter months arrive.
  • 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 good stocks of high quality pasture hay available.
  • 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

  • Light rainfalls have continued to assist dairy farmers who have been busy establishing ryegrass pastures.
  • Hay growers are soon expected to be making their last cuts of pasture hay before winter, following what has been a good season on the north coast.
  • Only a slight increase in the amount of hay trading has been reported this week, without any change observed in the prices.
  • 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

  • The demand for hay has increased during the past couple of weeks with hay growers taking more orders and delivering primarily into the local region.
  • The rain arrived at the right time for many farmers in the region and has helped growers feel more optimistic about their winter sowing program.
  • Growers with hay on the market are finding that cereal hay is still selling reasonably well, although we are yet to have any change in reported prices.
  • 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: +/- $0 ($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

  • With April rainfall comfortably above the monthly mean, growing conditions continue to be favourable.
  • The hay market continues to be quiet and no changes have been reported. 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 continues to be quiet and there are good buying opportunities for cereal and pasture hay.
  • Hay in the Goulburn Valley is being sold to beef cattle and other livestock producers, with interest from the dairy sector tending to be lower than in previous seasons.
  • Some hay sellers have sold out of their cereal hay stocks to proactive buyers anticipating their fodder needs in advance.
  • 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.


  • Many dairy farmers are continuing to take advantage of their stocks of conserved fodder rather than buying in hay. Some dairy farmers however are reportedly now running low on silage (depending on their location in Gippsland and how much rainfall they received over summer).
  • The hay trade is still relatively quiet, prompting some hay sellers to accept prices towards the lower end of the quoted range in order to clear some of their stock.
  • 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 prices are steady for lucerne and pasture hay, but slightly lower for cereal hay.
  • Cereal hay: -$10 ($230 to $270/t). Prices lower this week on reports of sellers keen to start shifting stock.
  • 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

  • The cooler weather has kick-started the orders for hay and large and small bales are now steadily being shifted. Prices are remaining steady with buyers and sellers both adjusting their price outlook and meeting in the middle.
  • There are still 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.
  • Straw has been sporadically trading and is still readily available.
  • 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

  • Recent rainfall and cooler conditions have not yet had any significant effect on the hay market. Growers are optimistic of further rain forecast for the weekend, as conditions still remain relatively dry.
  • 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.
  • Some hay suppliers have already sold all their stock, so potential buyers should make arrangements to make sure their fodder requirements are met. Good quality hay is still available at a competitive price.
  • Overall supplies are below average for this time of year. Reports of some lucerne stubble trading within the region, offering animals some additional roughage in their diets.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $260/t). No movement this week but some talk of prices starting to ease, reflecting reported sales of cereal hay at the lower end of the quality range.
  • Lucerne hay: – $15 ($290 to $330/t). Prices have come under pressure recently and sellers are experiencing difficulty shifting stock at the high end of the range.
  • 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

  • Following rain across many sections of the central district, stock are getting access to some green pick. The transition from this early pasture growth to productive pastures often needs careful management to control weeds and livestock need supplementary feeding to maintain dry matter.
  • As a consequence, the demand for hay has lifted during the past couple of weeks. 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. No change in prices has been reported and sellers appear to be meeting the market.
  • 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

  • Prices have firmed a little for oaten hay in the past couple of weeks on the basis of limited stocks and demand from the exporters underpinning the market.
  • 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: +$10 ($170 to $190/t). Prices have lifted slightly based on limited supply and reliable demand.
  • 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

  • Cooler conditions and several frosts have seen demand for hay increase during the past couple of weeks. More rain is needed with central areas remaining quite dry.
  • Dairy farmers and to a lesser extent some beef and lamb producers have begun placing more regular orders for hay.
  • 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.
  • Lucerne has risen slightly in price primarily due to scarcity of supply.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $240/t). Cereal hay availability is limited but prices remain steady.
  • Lucerne hay: +$10 ($310 to $330/t). Slight increase this week due to 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.