National Summary

  • Unusually for this time of year and across all regions, there has not been any reported movement in prices during the past week.
  • Looking across all of the regions in this week’s hay price report we have seen the highest levels of hay trade has occurring in the Goulburn/Murray Valley region. This appears to have been triggered by the cooler weather and the looming end of the irrigation season. Some sellers have reported almost exhausting their stocks of hay during the past couple of weeks.
  • Rainfall continues to be the most commented on factor when discussing the hay market, with rain falling in overabundance on the north coast of NSW while in contrast, many areas of northern and western Victoria and South Australia are still waiting for a proper autumn break.
  • 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.

Northern Australia

  • The Atherton region is moving towards drier conditions and dryland hay stocks are becoming more limited in supply.
  • The market for cereal hay in the Downs continues to be slow, however there is an expectation that demand will increase during the winter months.
  • New season stocks of sorghum hay are now on the market and good quality pasture hay is readily available from the southeast.

Southern Australia

  • The Goulburn/Murray Valley is reporting the greatest level of activity in the hay market at present. The onset of the cooler weather and the end of the irrigation season next week appear to be driving factors of the increase in the hay trade. Despite this increase of activity, the prices for hay appear to have levelled with buyers accepting the market conditions.
  • Hay trade in the southeast of South Australia continues to be subdued. After a flurry of trading the Central districts are also quieter with many buyers having already made arrangements for purchased fodder.
  • The hay market in Gippsland has seen an increase of activity with some sellers’ stocks reportedly becoming low. Overall there has been enough supply to meet demand and there have not been any signs of the prices increasing during the past week.

Western Australia

  • The recent rainfall in the south western region was welcomed by growers trying to establish their annual pastures. The price for oaten hay has levelled off following slight increases in the past few weeks. Reports have been received of renewed interest by growers in sowing lucerne for the coming season.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • Conditions are beginning to dry out on the Tablelands.
  • Demand remains the same across the region with no reported change in the price of hay this week.
  • As growers move to turn on irrigation over the next couple of months, the hay price will be likely to rise as a result of the higher cost of producing hay on irrigation.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $320/t). Prices remain steady.

Darling Downs

  • The hay market remains quiet on the Darling Downs and no price movement has been reported.
  • 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. New season sorghum hay is now on the market.
  • Consistent demand for lucerne continues to be restricted to the horse/chaff market.
  • 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

  • Again this week on the north coast, primary producers have been looking to the skies, this time looking for a reprieve from the rain. Heavy rainfalls have caused minor flooding in low lying areas.
  • The demand for hay continues to be slow, and as a result there have been no reports of price movement. 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 lifted slightly.
  • The prices in the central west remain steady this week.
  • 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 ($210 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

  • Quiet trading conditions persist in the hay market in the Bega region.
  • The majority of dairy farmers are continuing to utilise their stocks of conserved fodder.
  • 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: +/-$0 ($350 to $380/t). Prices remain steady this week with few reports of trade.
  • 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 show signs of increased activity.
  • Demand for cereal hay is quite strong and many hay sellers are now reporting to have limited hay stocks remaining.
  • Growers with water allocations are readying for the close of the 2014/5 irrigation season next week.
  • Lucerne growers are satisfied overall with the quality of their product this season and are currently setting prices to meet the market.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $220/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $310/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • 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. Last week’s interest in fodder pricing seems to have plateaued even with some stores being exhausted.
  • 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.
  • All fodder stocks in the Gippsland area remain below average for the time of year due to large quantities bought “off the back of the baler” in late spring and early summer 2014.
  • 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

  • All farmers in the southwest seem to have their fingers crossed waiting for a good autumn break.
  • The hay market is showing signs of increased activity. Although it seems that some buyers are stretching their existing feed stocks in the hope of more substantial rainfall arriving soon. Oaten hay is in demand and some hay sellers are beginning to empty their sheds.
  • Buyers looking to access protein hay are encouraged to contact their trusted hay supplier. It appears that vetch is easier to source than lucerne.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$ ($300 to $330/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $130/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($180 to $220/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southeast South Australia

  • Many dairy and livestock farmers are still hoping for more rain and appear to be delaying their fodder purchases.
  • Demand for quality hays has been flagged to be coming from cattle feedlots in SA which are straining already low fodder stores.
  • The cooler conditions have not yet had any apparent effect on the hay market and trade remains quiet for this time of year.
  • Good quality hay is still available at a competitive price but overall supplies are below average for this time of year.
  • 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 tinge of green in the pastures appears to have had the effect of subduing interest in purchased feed this week.
  • The quality of oaten hay available is good but stocks are limited. Reports have been received that some buyers are now having difficulty 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

  • High quality cereal hay for the local market remains limited due to the existing contractual arrangements with export hay buyers.
  • Prices remain firm for oaten hay despite good rainfall across parts of the southwest during the past week.
  • There has been increased interest noted this week in the market towards establishing lucerne crops for the coming season. This is largely based on current market pricing.
  • 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

  • Consistent demand exists for all types of hay, particularly from producers seeking supplementary feed for calving cows and ewes.
  • Rain in the northwest and central regions during the past week has provided some relief to the previously dry autumn conditions.
  • Given that yields of hay were down between 50 and 60 per cent due to the dry spring/summer, there is an expectation the price of hay will rise going into winter.
  • Once again, buyers looking to secure stocks of hay for the coming months are reminded to get in touch with suppliers now to avoid the potential risk of supply issues.
  • 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.