National Summary

  • With harvest now underway in a number of regions around the country and others simply waiting out continuing rainfall; hay trading has largely been put on hold. There is a great deal of anticipation regarding the new season price and this has seen a number of farmers now sitting out of the market. The return to a soft winter which has now dragged on through the first month of spring has set up a challenging harvest and all reports suggest quality will be down. The early dry finish which brought about premium export grade hay but low yields last year has been flipped as many growers currently try to salvage big crops.
  • Also a result of the rain, comprehensive grass feed is likely to linger for some months. This is also slowing any urgency from farmers to buy and has seen a marked shift in focus towards straw and protein hay.
  • Once the new season fodder hits the market, we are likely to see a reduction in prices due to the quality of the feed and the greater level of supply in most regions. For now prices are holding with the lack of trading and in some areas due to the limited supply of last season’s feed.

Northern Australia – Summary

  • Harvest has commenced in the northernmost parts of the region.
  • Scattered rainfall continues and has the potential to hamper baling.
  • There is still some uncertainty over what level of quality this season’s crops will be capable of delivering with such inclement weather hanging around.
  • Good yields are expected from the new season crops and supply is expected to be up from last year.

Southern Australia – Summary

  • Heavy rain is currently sweeping through the region and onto crops that have mostly seen too much wet weather already.
  • The impact of this far-reaching storm front is not yet known, but growers are reporting that to make quality feed is going to be difficult.
  • Most in Southern regions are now hoping for a dry October.
  • With the ample grass feed available throughout the Southern regions, straw has continued to take a larger share of enquiry.
  • As an ongoing consequence of reduced milk pricing, many dairy farmers continue to sit out of the hay market, focusing instead on producing their own grass and fodder, particularly silage.
  • It is expected that far less purchased fodder will be traded this year as farmers look to grow their own feed.

Western Australia – Summary

  • There continues to be small volumes of fodder transported around the region, but this has slowed as harvest begins.
  • Bad frosts have done damage to a number of crops in the region this week.
  • Limited supply is available in the region keeping prices to a premium.
  • There is a possibility that prices could reduce once the new season feed hits the market.
  • Growers report that it’s still too early to tell what the level of quality will be like in the West.
  • Growers are now hoping for a dry October to resurrect saturated crops.
  • This season is expected to be a major turnaround from the poor yields experienced last year.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • With harvest now underway for many in the region, hay trading for the most part has now been put on hold.
  • Warm, dry conditions have held out over the past week however some more rain is expected to return in the coming days.
  • Growers are predicting a good harvest following steady crop growth and mostly favourable conditions over the winter period.
  • As is the case with most Northern regions, interest in purchasing fodder is expected to return once more new stocks becomes available on the market. This is expected to result in a reduced price due to an influx of supply.
  • Atherton however, isn’t expected to see a rapid rise in purchasing, rather a return to a steady market with moderate demand.
  • The same factors that have kept buying slow all year will continue to have an influence. These are lower cattle numbers due to good beef prices and good pasture availability.
  • Our reports indicate that there are still good volumes to be moved in sheds however this is of variable quality so careful inspection is recommended before purchase.
  • Demand for small bales in small quantities remains strong but this trade is not significant enough to influence overall hay prices.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $250/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Note: Hay in the Atherton Tablelands is traditionally priced at $/bale so it is important to check bale weights for conversion to a $/t rate.

Darling Downs

  • Prices were steady this week as harvest gets underway in the region, particularly in the north.
  • The majority of growers are currently baling barley straw with wheat to follow shortly.
  • Reports indicate this season is looking far more prosperous than the last, with a greater spread of sustained rainfall helping crops go the distance.
  • There is expected to be greater supply of feed this year, most likely reducing price across the region.
  • There are still areas within the Downs that have experienced very little rainfall and will have a higher demand for purchased feed.
  • More rain is expected over the coming days, which may cause some issues for harvest.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay +/-$0 ($320 to $400/t). Prices remain steady this week. There is reportedly prime lucerne available for $440/t.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($160 to $185/t). Prices remain steady this week but this is based on limited trade.
  • Pasture hay: N/A at this time.

North Coast NSW

  • There were no price changes this week throughout the North Coast NSW region.
  • The lack of price movement can be attributed to the little fodder purchasing that is occurring at the present, aside from small quantities to hobby farms.
  • Due to abundant pasture availability there is limited interest in purchased fodder at this time.
  • The major focus for farmers is now on the season ahead.
  • Competitive prices are being quoted for new season feed. This has also caused a number of farmers to sit out of the market until this is available.
  • Areas of rainfall continue in the region hampering efforts to get a clean run at harvest. This could also have some impact of the quality of feed made in the region.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $250/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $350/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $130/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($130 to $180/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Central West NSW

  • There were no changes to price this week as the region focuses on salvaging crops from continued rainfall.
  • Waterlogging and in some parts of the region, severe flooding have now done real damage to a large percentage of crops.
  • Reports indicate good quality fodder will be hard to find in the region this season.
  • Pasture availability remains good and is slowing demand also.
  • If the rain holds off the next few days, lucerne harvest is expected to start next week with cereal beginning later in October making new season hay available from November.
  • The hay currently available in the region can be of variable quality and it is recommended that a feed test and careful inspection of the product be undertaken before purchase. This is likely to be the case for the new season feed also.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $250/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($300 to $350/t) If available and quality dependent.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($130 to $150/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 N/A. There are no reports of pasture trading in the region.

Bega Valley

  • There were no changes to hay prices in the Bega region this week.
  • Crops are looking good with many farmers looking like growing adequate home-grown feed to cover themselves this year.
  • This tactic will also ease the tight cash flow issues caused by a low milk price.
  • The milk price issue has kept hay buying to a minimum for the majority of the year and looks to continue into the new year.
  • Pockets of hay continue to be available in the Bega region but quality can be varied so careful inspection prior to purchase is recommended.
  • Pasture availability continues to be excellent and is keeping the urgency to buy to a minimum.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($230 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week for good quality hay however poorer quality is selling for around $200/t.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($330 to $380/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($100 to $110/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $260/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Goulburn/Murray Valley

  • With little to no hay still available in the region, trading has come to a stand still and therefor no prices changed this week.
  • Most farmers have now stored enough fodder for the coming weeks helped along by good pasture availability.
  • The focus is well and truly on the new season crops and preventing moisture/ mould damage where possible.
  • The region is expected to receive up to 50mm of rainfall as a new front settles in later this week.
  • With the ground saturated and some paddocks underwater, there is a real concern over the impact this next front will have and whether much quality feed will be made this year despite the big yields.
  • Most purchases at this point are for straw as dairy farmers balance out feed with good pasture that is available.
  • There are limited prospects for high hay prices for the domestic market due to the potential for good supplies which is and also impacting export hay with lower feed test results a potential issue.
  • Fodder being transported out of the region has virtually stopped.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $240/t). Prices have steadied this week with limited supply.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($320 to $350/t). Prices remain steady this week although it is reported that these prices would be the higher end of the price range due to limited availability.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $140/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: No supply reportedly available.


  • There continues to be small quantities of fodder moving around the Gippsland region as farmers continue buying in a hand to mouth manner.
  • The reports regarding the outlook for the coming season are mostly positive, particularly in the South as crops continue to show good growth.
  • There are some concerns over how healthy these crops will be after this current rain event and as some growers anticipate, it could push crops over the edge.
  • The winter rainfall has more than regenerated grass growth further slowing the demand from farmers to buy feed.
  • A number of potential buyers are now sitting out of the market in anticipation of the new season’s price.
  • The last two seasons have seen large quantities of bought in fodder and this has significantly impacted on cash reserves for fodder purchases in the current season.
  • Expectations are that far less fodder will be purchased in the region this season as farmers try to grow their own and cut costs.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($250 to $300/t). Prices remain steady this week on limited supply although these prices would be at the upper end of the market.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($350 to $410/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($130 to $200/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($160 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southwest Victoria

  • As has been the case for the last fortnight, very little hay was traded this week in the South West, with limited available within the region and hefty freight costs keeping buyers out.
  • The expectation is that most farmers will now ride out good pasture availability until the new season feed hits the market.
  • Farmers are expecting that prices will ease dramatically when the new season fodder enters the market.
  • This is as a result of an expected saturation in the market, and a generally lower quality product being available.
  • Heavy rainfall is expected across the weekend. This is reportedly not ideal for growers who are now hoping for a dry October.
  • As a result of the poor dairy situation, a number of farmers have elected to grow more of their own feed this year. This is also currently impacting the number of active buyers in the market.
  • Silage production is forecast to commence within the next fortnight but is being delayed by wet weather.
  • Vetch is trading at $320/t which has come back slightly.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($230 to $250/t). Prices remained steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($320 to $340/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($120 to $130/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $230/t).Prices remain steady this week. Very limited trading.

Southeast South Australia

  • Due to little trading in the area again this week, there were no major changes to prices.
  • After a promising winter for cropping, recent late rainfall (including a particularly nasty front heading through the state now) has weakened chances of another bumper season.
  • Growers are still reporting the quantity will be there, however quality is now expected to be well below last year.
  • There have been some who are suggesting the bench mark in terms of quality available in the new season will be last season’s feed. This will also most likely limit price movement at the top end.
  • The coastal regions of Southeast South Australia are the wettest, whilst inland improves somewhat.
  • Any hay that is moving in the region is expected to be previously contracted orders.
  • With good pasture availability, there is little immediacy from buyers who do not need supply and who can afford to wait for the new season supplies to enter the market.
  • The impact of the poor milk prices continues to limit cash flow for dairy farmers, slowing substantial orders also.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 (290-340/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($100 to $120/t). Prices were steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($160 to 240/t) Prices were steady this week. Note that there is limited supply in the region at this time.

Central South Australia

  • There were limited reports of trading fodder this week in the region resulting in no changes to hay prices.
  • Despite this slow market the area has one of the best supplies of stored premium cereal hay in the country.
  • Another good season is still being reported by most growers in the region, however damage from the current heavy storm front is yet to be fully realised.
  • With the export industry taking the majority of the market in this region, it is unlikely to see major fluctuation in pricing between seasons.
  • Cereal hay: +$20 ($180 to 210/t). Prices have risen this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($280 to 320/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($100 to $110/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: N/A. No reported trading.

Southwest Western Australia

  • The continues to be small volumes of fodder moving around the region however this has slowed a great deal as we move into harvest.
  • Growers are still optimistic in the region and expect a big turnaround in terms of yield this year compared to last.
  • Reports indicate that some parts of the region have now begun harvest while others with later crops are still a while away. The bulk of the harvest is set to get going in the coming week, weather permitting.
  • Heavy frosts have plagued the region in the past week and reportedly damaged a number of cereal crops.
  • Some growers have expressed concern over the likely saturation of the market this season. This will only be the case if the rain holds off for long enough for those crops to be harvested.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($240 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 (470 to 520). Prices remain steady.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($90 to $110/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($150 to $200/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Northwest Tasmania

  • Small volumes of fodder continue to traded in the region as farmers purchase in a mostly hand to mouth manner.
  • The ongoing issue of milk price continues to restrict dairy farmer buying activity with many now focussing on growing and utilising as much home grown feed as possible.
  • This is likely to see far less hay traded in the coming season.
  • Wet conditions are reportedly causing issues with some crops, however the vast majority of growers are now feeling optimistic about the coming season.
  • Big yields are expected but quality will be enormously dependant on getting a dry October.
  • Grain prices are reportedly very competitive at the present time with ASW Wheat being purchased at <$300/t landed.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($230 to 270/t) Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($330 to 350/t) Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($150 to 170/t) Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($240 to 260/t) Prices remain steady this week.