National Summary

  • The hay market across the country has experienced notable price movement during the past couple of weeks.
  • Central west NSW, Gippsland, south east South Australia and the West have all reported increases in hay prices this week. The upward pressure on pricing is generally due to dwindling supplies and with winter approaching, buyers have been active in the market.
  • Stocks of hay in Western Australia and South Australia are relatively low and there is an expectation in the market that prices will continue to increase.
  • In contrast, the Darling Downs has reports of lower straw and pasture hay prices due to greater numbers of suppliers entering the market, keen to sell stock in order to make space for the next season.

Northern Australia

  • The demand and supply forces in the Atherton region remain unchanged and prices remain steady.
  • Suppliers looking to create some space in the sheds for the coming season have begun to offload stocks of pasture hay and straw. This has resulted in hay prices softening in recent weeks.

Southern Australia

  • Rain and cold conditions have contributed to the first signs of upward pressure on hay prices in the Gippsland region. The increased demand for good quality oaten hay, pasture hay and lucerne has resulted in modest increases in prices.
  • The price for oaten hay in south western Victoria has risen slightly this week, based on higher demand for supplementary feed in areas that have received sporadic rainfall. Dairy farmers in Bega have been sourcing lucerne this week resulting in the price starting to lift.
  • The Goulburn/Murray Valley market has quietened down and hay orders continue to be slow but steady. Prices have levelled off this week following a busy period prior to the end of the irrigation season.
  • Demand for lucerne hay in the south east of South Australia has driven up prices as processors chase greater quantities. The hay trade in the Central districts remains on the quiet side with sufficient pasture growth mitigating the need for farmers to purchase additional feed.

Western Australia

  • Demand from a variety of sources including dairy farmers, exporters and processors has had the flow on effect of increasing prices in all types of hay, with the exception of straw. Oaten hay in particular, is experiencing strong demand and potential buyers are recommended to make arrangements with their supplier in order to secure feed stocks for the winter.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • Demand is slow and steady across the Atherton region and the price of Rhodes grass remains unchanged.
  • Alternative feed sources, such as peanut hay, are used by livestock owners for supplementary feeding where appropriate.
  • 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

  • Straw markets have started to move this week with greater numbers of suppliers looking to reduce quantities in storage. This has seen a slight drop in prices.
  • There still remain adequate stores of pasture hay available in the market.
  • Lucerne hay still remains high on feedlot businesses priorities and this consistent demand of a quality product is why the price is holding.
  • Overall, good stocks of fodder have been reported with market movements being spurred on by sellers looking to reduce stock in preparation for the coming season.
  • 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: -$10 ($170 to $190/t). Prices beginning to shift.
  • Pasture hay: -$10 ($270 to $310/t). Prices shifts due to clearing sheds and making space for coming season.

North Coast NSW

  • With the rainfall for May already totaling twice the monthly mean, the northern coastal region could be described as being saturated.
  • Hay trading conditions continue to be quiet and no reports of any price changes have been received across any of the hay types, including lucerne.
  • Moderate demand for hay is coming from beef cattle producers at this point in time.
  • 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

  • Demand has picked up in the past couple of weeks in the Central West.
  • Prices for cereal hay and lucerne have edged up slightly due to a combination of increased demand and dwindling supply.
  • Buyers considering purchasing protein hay should contact their supplier to.
  • Cereal hay: +$15 ($230 to $260/t). Prices have firmed slightly.
  • Lucerne hay: +$25 ($330 to $400/t). The average price is up on reports that lucerne tends to be trading at the higher end of the price range.
  • 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

  • This week has seen very little price changing again in the Bega valley
  • Good pasture growing conditions are seeing dairy farmers starting build a feed wedge. The onset of winter is starting to see increased interest for fodder sources; however this has not yet transferred through to significant pricing changes in the market.
  • Protein hays such as lucerne remain the main interest to dairy farmers in the region.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($260 to $300/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +$5 ($350 to $390/t). Prices have lifted slightly 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

  • Slow but steady demand for hay is occurring in the Goulburn valley.
  • Some hay sellers are now reporting to have limited cereal and lucerne hay stocks remaining.
  • Patchy light rain fell this week and hay producers in the midst of sowing next season’s crop will be hoping for more.
  • 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.


  • Poor weather conditions in the South Gippsland region has been the biggest contributing factor to increased demand in the market. Other areas in East Gippsland are experience good growing conditions following a mild summer.
  • Rain and cold temperatures recorded in South Gippsland have seen dairy and beef farmers looking to secure hay stocks for the coming winter. Demand is lifting but so too is the availability of pasture being produced on farm.
  • All fodder stocks remain below average for this time of the season; however there was comment in the market of pasture hay being traded out of East Gippsland.
  • A demand for good quality oaten hay is driving up some prices.
  • Lucerne stocks in the area are almost exhausted.
  • Cereal hay: +$10 ($240 to $280/t). Prices have lifted on the back of solid demand.
  • Lucerne hay: +$5 ($360 to $380/t). Prices have increased slightly this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $130/t). Trading remains slow and prices are steady.
  • Pasture hay: +$10 ($180 to $230/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southwest Victoria

  • Coastal areas in the south west are on track to receive an average rainfall for May, however further inland remains relatively dry with isolated showers falling across the Wimmera during autumn.
  • The hay market has entered a period of increased activity. Oaten hay is in demand and the price has edged slightly higher as hay stocks decline.
  • Buyers looking to access protein hay are encouraged to contact their trusted hay supplier with vetch being a likely option.
  • Cereal hay: +$10 ($230 to $250/t). Prices have firmed during the past fortnight.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($300 to $330/t). Prices remain steady this week, although trade is reportedly slow.
  • 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

  • Dry weather conditions continue to impact livestock and cropping farmers. Isolated rainfall has meant cattle producers are continuing to source supplementary feed for stock.
  • Good quality hay is still available at a competitive price but overall supplies are below average for this time of year.
  • High demand for lucerne is starting to drive up prices. The demand is coming from processors looking to incorporate lucerne into pellets for export.
  • As a result of feed shortages, straw prices are also rising.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $260/t). No change in prices this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +$10 ($300 to $340/t). Very few reports of producers letting lucerne go for anything under $300/t.
  • Straw: +$10 ($110 to $130/t). Demand has shifted straw slightly higher this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($180 to $220/t). Holding steady with adequate stores.

Central South Australia

  • Solid rainfall across many areas of the central region during the past month has contributed to an optimistic outlook by many growers for the season ahead.
  • As a consequence of the benevolent weather, the demand for hay has slowed in recent weeks. The quality of oaten hay still available is good but stocks are limited.
  • 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

  • Good rains have kicked the week off. There has been a rise in almost all fodder pricing this week with demand coming from many areas.
  • Prices for pasture hay have lifted as demand from end users increases.
  • Demand for lucerne hay has increased resulting in a price increase this week. It should also be noted that there have been isolated comments of prices from hay processers above those noted in this report.
  • Oaten hay export stores are running low. Securing further quantities is proving challenging for exporters as most if not all high quality oaten hay has been bought up already.
  • With 35mls of rain recorded in some areas growers hold an optimistic outlook for crops in the coming season. Confidence is also present due to the demand from both local and export markets in and around SW Western Australia.
  • Cereal hay: +$10 ($190 to $210/t). Prices have lifted slightly based on limited supply and solid demand.
  • Lucerne hay: +$10 ($490 to $530/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: +$15 ($160 to 200/t). Isolated demand from areas affected by environmental conditions has lifted pricing this week.

Northwest Tasmania

  • Heavy frosts and reasonable rainfall has seen consistent demand from producers looking to secure supplementary feed sources for cattle and ewes as winter approaches.
  • Given that fodder and hay stocks were down due to harsh conditions at the start of summer, hay stocks remain sufficient as winter approaches. This has resulted in no price changes.
  • Large dairy areas are continuing to dictate isolated markets for hays. Currently there remains a large demand base for round bale silage by dairy farmers.
  • While weather conditions remain fair, contractors and fodder producers strongly encourage forward hay buying as a risk mitigation strategy for dairy and sheep farmers.
  • 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.