National Summary

  • The hay market is experiencing a general increase of activity across NSW, Victoria and South Australia this week. Price movement is not conforming to a single trend, as prices for different types of hay appear to shifting both up and down based on the unique characteristics of demand and supply specific to each region.
  • Stocks of hay in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania are relatively low and there is an expectation in the market that prices will increase as the winter months approach.
  • Vetch continues to be sought after in the southern regions with dairy producers seeking additional protein hay to meet animals’ needs for autumn calving.

Northern Australia

  • The market in the Atherton region is currently stable although hay is becoming more challenging to source.
  • The market for cereal hay in the Downs remains very quiet, however there is an expectation that demand will increase during the winter months.
  • The south eastern Downs have had a good finish to the hay season and stocks of good quality pasture hay are readily available at present.

Southern Australia

  • Fodder demand has generally increased in the southern regions, notably in the Goulburn/Murray Valley and southwestern Victoria. Prices being reported for oaten hay in the Goupburn/Murray Valley appear to have lifted slightly this week.
  • The market for lucerne hay seems to have adjusted downwards in the Bega region, driven by the demand for high end protein hay remaining flat. After a quiet summer, the hay market in Gippsland is finally showing signs of increased activity however no changes in price have been reported this week.
  • Hay trade in the southeast of South Australia continues to be subdued. The Central districts are reporting an increase of trade, triggered in part by the cooler conditions and dairy producers beginning to run low on feed.

Western Australia

  • The demand for good quality oaten hay continues to be solid. Supply has been put under pressure from both the domestic and export markets. Recent sales point towards another slight increase in prices. The southwestern region is in need of more rainfall during the next couple of weeks to assist with establishment of pastures.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • The hay market remains steady in Atherton with no reported change in the price of Rhodes grass hay this week.
  • Demand is expected to increase over the coming months and stocks are starting to dwindle.
  • There have been a few enquiries from the larger stations but as yet this has not translated into sales.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $320/t). Prices remain steady.

Darling Downs

  • The hay market has been described as stagnant in southern Queensland, with prices remaining steady and not expected to rise until the winter months arrive.
  • Producers across in central western Queensland are still coming to terms with the fact that for the third year in a row, the seasonal summer rainfall was virtually non-existent. This is seeing fodder stocks remain low but there are reports of new season sorghum hay being available.
  • 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

  • Most areas of the north coast have received between 50ml and 100ml of rain during the past month.
  • Hay growers are winding up their pasture baling activities before winter, following what has been a good season on the north coast.
  • Overall, hay trading continues to be quiet, without any change observed in the prices. Lucerne hay is reported to be particularly slow-moving.
  • 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.
  • 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. Few reports of trading in sufficient quantities to be able to determine a price.

Central West NSW

  • With the cooler conditions arriving across the Central West last week the orders for hay have picked up in recent weeks.
  • Growers with hay on the market are finding that cereal hay is selling in reasonable quantities; however the price has reportedly softened a little.
  • 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: – $5 ($210 to $250/t). Prices lower based on reports of sellers meeting the market.
  • 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

  • Very little hay is being traded in the Bega region at the moment, apart from deliveries to longstanding orders.
  • The moderate temperatures plus the 100ml of rain that fell during the past week have created very good conditions for pasture growth. This points towards limited change in the demand for hay in the near future.
  • There is only limited interest in lucerne at the moment and the prices have lowered slightly accordingly.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($260 to $300/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: -$25 ($350 to $380/t). Prices lower based on weak demand.
  • 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 has shifted up a gear recently and reports are that dairy farmers and beef producers are starting to place orders.
  • Cooler overnight conditions coupled with some producers’ feed stocks beginning to run low are the key drivers for the increase in sales of cereal hay.
  • 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 are currently setting prices to meet the market.
  • Cereal hay: +$10 ($200 to $220/t). Prices slightly up due to increased sales of good quality oaten hay.
  • Lucerne hay: -$5 ($280 to $310/t). Prices softened slightly due to buyers not willing to pay premium rates for lucerne at this point in time.
  • 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.


  • Increased activity in the hay market has been evident during the past week. An increase in the level of interest as well as orders being placed has been reported.
  • The good autumn growing conditions across many areas of the Gippsland region are keeping a lid on the price of fodder and prices currently remain steady for all types of hay.
  • Vetch is competing well with lucerne and is reportedly selling in reasonable quantities.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($230 to $270/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 remains slow and prices are steady.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($170 to $220/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southwest Victoria

  • The coastal region of south western Victoria has received some useful rain during the past week, however further inland conditions still remain relatively dry.
  • The hay market has picked up and reports indicate that stocks of hay available for sale are getting tight. Oaten hay is attracting a premium with prices tending towards the higher end of the market range.
  • Buyers looking to access protein hay are encouraged to contact their trusted hay supplier. It appears that vetch is easier to source than lucerne.
  • There has been some trading of straw reported with some dairy farmers looking for additional roughage. This has seen an increase in prices reported.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +$5 ($300 to $330/t). Prices have lifted slightly this week.
  • Straw: +$10 ($110 to $130/t). Prices have increased slightly.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($180 to $220/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southeast South Australia

  • The cooler conditions have not yet had any apparent effect on the hay market and trade remains quiet for this time of year.  
  • Many dairy and livestock farmers are still hoping for more rain and appear to be delaying their fodder purchases.
  • There are reports that a number of 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. There are also some 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 change in prices this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/- $0 ($290 to $330/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • 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 combination of cooler conditions and dairy farmers needing more feed are continuing to trigger an increased demand for hay this week.
  • The quality of oaten hay available is good but stocks are limited. Reports have been received that some buyers are now having difculty sourcing round bales.
  • Many hay growers are reporting that much of their hay is either sold or under contract. No change in prices has been reported this week 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 continue to firm for oaten hay with more rain needed in the southwest and dairy farmers placing orders. In contrast, the wheat belt has had an excellent start to the season with good rainfalls seeing promising sowing conditions.
  • We heard reports this week 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 ($180 to $200/t). Prices have lifted slightly based on limited supply and solid 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

  • Stron demand continues with dairy farmers continuing to place orders for hay however there is yet to be any indication of a change in price.
  • Dry autumn conditions persist in the central and southern regions.
  • Given that yields of hay were down between 50 and 60 per cent due to the dry spring/summer, there is an expectation the the price of hay will rise going into winter.
  • 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: +/-$0 ($310 to $330/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($170 to $190/t). Prices remain steady with no report of trade in straw.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($170 to $190/t). Prices remain steady this week.