National Summary

  • Once again this week we have witnessed little price movement and a sluggish hay market reported around the country. With the focus now firmly on the season ahead, we are seeing a number of buyers sitting out of the market in anticipation of a new season price and product. With uncertainty surrounding quality in many regions and a likely oversupply, farmers are expecting a reduction in hay prices.
  • In the North, as harvest begins to get into full swing, the reports are positive with a large amount of fodder expected to be produced. As we head South, inclement weather continues to delay the start of the season. Growers in parts of Victoria, Southern NSW and South Australia have been receiving a battering from storm fronts bringing relentless rainfall. This is now beginning to do real damage to crops and sour what was hoped to be a bumper season.

Northern Australia – Summary

  • Harvest is now underway thanks to a few warm, dry days.
  • Good quality silage has already been produced in the North and hay quality is also looking good if weather remains dry.
  • Crop height is reportedly good through much of the North, particularly along coastal regions.
  • Good yields are expected from the new season crops and supply is expected to be up from last year.
  • Some hay still trading is still occurring in the area however this is mostly small orders to top up sheds and balance out feed requirements for cattle.

Southern Australia – Summary

  • More rain has fallen in Southern regions this week further damaging the potential for good hay making this season.
  • Reports indicate that a large percentage of this year’s hay crops will now be harvested for grain.
  • Despite a terrific start to the season, growers are now expecting hay production to be down by up to 50% from what they were initially targeting.
  • Also due to the rain, harvest in the majority of Southern regions is now running up to three weeks behind schedule with growers unable to get machinery onto paddocks.
  • This has delayed any change to the market with most traders anticipating very little hay will traded for the next month, keeping price mostly steady.
  • 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.

Western Australia – Summary

  • With harvest now underway in the West, hay trading has slowed in anticipation for the new season feed.
  • Bad frosts have done damage to a number of crops in the region again 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.
  • With the continued rainfall in the region and now areas of frost damage, the quality of new season hay is still yet to be determined.
  • Growers are now hoping for a dry October to resurrect saturated crops.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • Limited trading was reported this week as demand remains subdued across the region.
  • The focus is now on the season ahead with a few producers now getting a good run at harvesting silage and early barley.
  • 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 new stocks becomes available on the market. This is expected to result in a reduced price due to an increase in supply.
  • A sharp rise in interest in the region will also be dependant on the beef industry including fodder purchases for export cattle.
  • 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

  • Hay continues to move around the region this week, but prices remain steady.
  • Hay traders anticipate a reduction in price once new season feed comes onto the market.
  • Some growers are now baling early crops of barley with wheat to follow shortly.
  • A good amount of silage has been produced already in the region and is reportedly of great quality.
  • 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, some suggesting this part of the country will be depended upon to supply the South.
  • This will only be the case though if ideal curing conditions are felt over the coming fortnight.
  • There are still areas within the Downs that have experienced very little rainfall and will have a higher demand for purchased feed.
  • 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 changes to hay prices in the region this week as harvest gets underway in the region and focus shifts to the new season supplies.
  • There is a good feeling about this year’s harvest with most growers reporting big crops likely to produce a large volume of feed all around the region.
  • It is likely that the North West will be called upon for extra supply from other regions which have now received too much rain.
  • Buying in small quantities for hobbies farms continues but has no impact on the market as a whole.
  • Also due to abundant pasture availability there is limited interest in large scale purchasing at this time.
  • Competitive prices are being thrown around for new season feed. This has also caused a number of farmers to sit out of the market until these prices firm.
  • 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

  • No changes for the Central West again this week as growers look to begin harvest despite very wet paddocks throughout much of the region.
  • Waterlogging and in some parts of the region, severe flooding, have now done real damage to some crops.
  • Reports indicate good quality fodder will be hard to find in the region this season and large volumes may have to be transported in from the North Coast region.
  • Pasture availability remains good and is slowing demand also.
  • Some growers are currently cutting lucerne 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

  • The region is sitting well for another bumper year with reports indicating good-looking crops and ample pasture.
  • Both these factors are lessened demand from farmers as a number of them will look to grow their own feed this season.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Little to no hay was traded in the region again this week primarily because of the limited supply available.
  • Also contributing to this slow market is the amount of rainfall experienced by farmers in the region, bringing good grass growth but slowing harvest and the potential for new season feed supplies.
  • Most farmers have now stored enough fodder for the coming weeks helped along by good pasture availability.
  • Hay quality is likely to be an issue for growers in the region this year with a number of them reporting flooded crops.
  • It appears a number of crops destined for hay will now be turned into grain. This includes oaten crops.
  • Most purchases at this point are for straw as dairy farmers balance out feed and nutrition with the 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 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.


  • Limited hay trading was reported this week with only small quantities being purchased to bolster the plentiful grass feed available.
  • Silage harvest is underway for a number of farmers between rain showers.
  • This has resulted in mixed levels of quality.
  • Compared to the rest of the state, the outlook for the coming season are mostly positive, particularly in the South as crops continue to show good growth.
  • It is anticipated that far less fodder will be traded in the region this season as farmers look to cover their own feed requirements on farm.
  • More rainfall is predicted next week however and this could have a negative impact on the already damp crops.
  • A number of potential buyers are now sitting out of the market in anticipation of the new season’s hay price.
  • This isn’t anticipated to change for some time as harvest continues to run behind schedule due to a lack of curing weather.
  • 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. This is unlikely to occur again this season.
  • 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

  • The Southwest’s hay market has virtually come to a standstill in recent weeks with little trading taking place and low demand for purchased fodder.
  • Some silage has now been harvested in the past few weeks between showers. This has reportedly produced some average to poor quality silage.
  • Hay harvest in still roughly a month away, well behind schedule and with more rain forecast for next week it is unlikely we will see farmers out on paddocks in the near future.
  • 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 in around a month’s time.
  • This is as a result of an expected saturation in the market and a generally lower quality product being available.
  • The quality of new season’s crops is expected to be well down and if rainfall continues, quantity is now also in question as growers plan to strip crops for grain.
  • 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.
  • Vetch is trading at $320/t; this 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

  • The was very limited hay trading taking place in the region this week as the majority of buyers sit out of the market having obtained enough feed for the coming month.
  • In a months time it is anticipated we are likely to see real changes in prices as the new season feed comes onto the market.
  • Like many of the Southern regions this has been delayed a number of weeks due to rain.
  • Heavy rainfall has now destroyed a number of crops in the region and drastically changed the outlook for the season.
  • After a promising winter for cropping, the recent storms have now forced many growers to consider leaving crops for grain.
  • Growers are still reporting the quantity will be there, however quality is now expected to be well below last year.
  • This could cause issues for exporters trying to find top quality cereal.
  • There have been some who are suggesting the benchmark 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.
  • Any hay that is moving in the region is expected to be previously contracted orders.
  • The impact of the poor milk prices continues to limit cash flow for dairy farmers, slowing any substantial orders.
  • 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

  • Similarly to the Southeast of the state, Central SA has received some damaging weather over the past week causing waterlogging and flooding for many.
  • This has slowed the hay market to a complete halt with little demand for purchased fodder.
  • Those that can are now trying to get onto paddocks and harvest vetch.
  • Despite this slow market the area has one of the best supplies of stored premium cereal hay in the country.
  • With the export industry taking the majority of the supply in this region, it is unlikely we will see major fluctuation in pricing between seasons.
  • The forecast large harvest expected from the region this year has now been scaled back.
  • 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

  • Hay trading has slowed in the West as harvest gets underway for a number of growers in the region.
  • Bad frosts have recently damaged numerous crops throughout the region, reducing the level of optimism for the season ahead.
  • While better yields are still expected compared to the previous year, there are now doubts surrounding the supply of quality feed.
  • If rainfall holds off during harvest, parts of the region are still likely to produce a lot of fodder.
  • 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

  • Little change occurred in the region’s hay market this week with small volumes are traded as farmers mostly focus on home grown feed.
  • The ongoing issue of milk price continues to restrict dairy farmer buying activity with many limited to buying in a hand-to-mouth manner.
  • Things are looking up for farmers in the region however as this season’s crops are forecast to produce a bumper production season.
  • With the focus on home grown fodder and a return to ample pasture, it is expected less hay will be traded next year and demand well back.
  • Wet conditions are reportedly causing some issues with some crops, however this is in patches and not comprehensive.
  • 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.