National Summary

  • There were few reports of hay trading this week as demand remains low from the majority of farmers around the country. A focus on home grown feed is likely to see less hay bought and sold in some parts of the nation this year. Particularly in those regions that were hardest hit last by milk price cuts and the long dry summer.
  • This season has been a testing one for the opposite reason. Sustained rainfall through spring has delayed some growers from getting into harvest by up to a month. This week we heard that the situation was improving with a dry forecast, but hay quality continues to be a much talked about issue.
  • There is a general expectation that with the influx of lower quality feed, pressure will be put on the market to be competitive with pricing. This has already started to occur in the North where new season feed has begun to enter the market.

Northern Australia – Summary

  • Good supply of fodder is being predicted in the North as well as patches of good quality.
  • With harvest now underway, there is currently little hay being traded.
  • With good pasture availability and the prospect of a bumper season, demand is low.
  • Rain continues to interrupt baling in some Northern regions.
  • Hay prices are expected to ease in the coming month due to new supply entering the market. The most remote and dry areas are likely exceptions to this.

Southern Australia – Summary

  • Thanks to a mostly dry week, a number of growers have now been able to get onto paddocks.
  • There is expected to be large volumes of fodder made in the South this year, but less than initially anticipated after such a good winter.
  • Sustained rainfall through spring has caused damage to crops and delayed harvest significantly putting into question quality.
  • It is expected that there will be an oversupply of lower grade feed this season.
  • Silage harvest is underway in some regions with mixed results.
  • Reports indicate that a large percentage of this year’s hay crops will now be harvested for grain.
  • 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

  • As new season feed enters the market, this week we saw significant price reductions in the West.
  • This reflects the level of supply as well as the quality of the new season product.
  • There is still low demand generally and most farmers continue to utilise home grown feed where ever possible.
  • A series of frosts and patches of rainfall have done damage to some crops.
  • Reports indicate some of the later crops being baled now are producing some good hay.
  • The weather has the season currently in the balance with most farmers predicting good supply but varied quality for hay.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • Positive reports continue from this season’s ongoing harvest, with good curing conditions and big crops likely to see some quality fodder come out of the region.
  • Small volumes of fodder continue to be traded, however the market isn’t expected to see much activity until harvest is over.
  • Comments suggest hay prices could be reduced in the coming weeks as traders/farmers try to compete in what may be a well-supplied market.
  • Last season’s hay is reportedly of variable quality so careful inspection is recommended before purchase.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $220/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

  • New season feed is yet to fully enter the market and influence pricing in the region.
  • In some parts of the region harvest is being delayed by rain.
  • The outcome of the harvest is yet to be realised with mixed reports coming from farmers.
  • There is expected to be good volumes of hay produced this year with more cereal hay made in particular.
  • Hay traders anticipate a reduction in price in the coming weeks as greater supply becomes available.
  • A good amount of silage has been produced already in the region and is reportedly of good quality.
  • With the right conditions over the coming fortnight it is likely that this part of the country will be depended upon to supply some Southern regions.
  • There continues to be a strong demand from chaff mills.
  • 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. Some new season lucerne has entered the market and is trading at the bottom end of the pricing scale despite being good quality.
  • 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

  • Demand continues to be low in the region with limited trading making price movement difficult to gauge.
  • Reports suggest that with a positive looking harvest now underway, the region is expected to produce good volumes of quality feed this year.
  • It is likely that this supply will be utilised by Southern regions that didn’t experience the same strong dry finish.
  • Pasture availability remains strong and is also limiting the need for purchased fodder.
  • Buying in small quantities for hobbies farms continues but is having no impact on pricing at this point.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • With harvest now in full swing there was limited hay traded in the region this week.
  • Buyers are reportedly waiting for new season feed to fully enter the market expecting a cheaper median price due to an excess of poorer quality feed.
  • Any price reduction will be limited however by the level of supply which is well down this year. Also freight costs weigh heavily into the equation being such a spread-out region.
  • There are a number of crops in the region that have been damaged due to the sustained wet winter, however things have dried out considerably in the past week.
  • Pasture availability remains good and is slowing demand also.
  • The hay currently available in the region is 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

  • Low demand in the region has again this week resulted in little trading and no changes to hay prices.
  • With the focus on harvest and the potential for a price reduction in the coming weeks, most buyers are waiting out of the market.
  • Reports indicate good pasture availability is also limiting any urgency to buy.
  • Growers are positive that this season’s harvest will result in back to back strong seasons for hay supply.
  • There will be a strong focus on home grown feed this year which could see less hay trading.
  • There is still some hay available from last season 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

  • A week of good curing conditions has lifted the spirits of many growers in the region after a long wet winter having delayed the start to harvest.
  • Comments suggest that because of the density of crops, many have actually handled the excess moisture and damage may be less than anticipated.
  • There is still the expectation that quality will be an issue in the region this season.
  • There were no changes to hay prices this week as trading is yet to get going again.
  • Good pasture availability is evident around the region.
  • The silage that’s been made so far is reportedly of mixed quality, however with a dry week this is likely to improve if rain holds off.
  • It appears some of the crops worst hit by rain events once 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.
  • Standing crops are now being quoted at $80-$100.
  • 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 was a low level of hay trading this week due to limited demand in the region.
  • Good pasture availability is keeping the demand to a minimum, as is the competitive price of grain.
  • Comments suggest we will see far fewer loads of hay traded in the region in the New Year as farmers looking to cut costs and take advantage of more favourable home grown feed options.
  • Prices remain steady this week after easing previously to free up the market.
  • The Gippsland region has seemingly escaped the overly wet finish which dampened prospects of a bumper year in most of Victoria.
  • Silage harvest is underway and is reportedly experiencing a promising start in terms of quality.
  • There are still plenty of wet paddocks around the region, particularly to the East.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($230 to $280/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($350 to $380/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($130 to $160/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($160 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southwest Victoria

  • Harvest is now truly getting underway in the region thanks to some dry windy conditions this week.
  • New season hay predicted to hit the market in the coming fortnight however hay crops in the region are running a bit behind those to the north.
  • In response to the forthcoming new season feed, and an inevitable price adjustment, most farmers are sitting out of the market.
  • As a result there were no price changes this week.
  • Reports indicate that prices will ease with the new season feed due to a high supply of lower quality feed in comparison to last season.
  • Good volumes of silage are being made in the region. This is reportedly of variable quality.
  • The expectation is that most farmers will now ride out good pasture availability until the new season feed hits the market.
  • For some time is has been evident that quality will be down this year, however prolonged rainfall has now also put quantity 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 may reduce the amount of hay traded this year generally.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $220/t). Prices remain steady this week. Most last season cereal hay being moved is of great quality and fetching between $215-$220/t.
  • 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 however there are limited reports of trading.

Southeast South Australia

  • There were limited reports of hay trading in the region this week with low demand from farmers.
  • As weather finally begins to fine up, reports indicate growers are now getting onto paddocks after weeks of delay.
  • Comments suggest that despite the poor spring, good volumes of fodder will still be made this year.
  • Quality will certainly be down from last year but with some good curing conditions over the coming fortnight, it is not disastrous.
  • Prices have eased this week for cereal hay in anticipation of oversupply and a competitive market.
  • Like many of the Southern regions, harvest has been delayed a number of weeks due to rain.
  • Cereal hay: -$25 ($190 to $220/t). Prices have eased 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

  • Harvest is now underway in the region as growers report some crops dry enough.
  • Hay trading continues to be on hold during this process with many farmers anticipating a drop in prices in a month’s time.
  • The easing of prices reflects a greater supply of lower quality feed.
  • It is expected that good volumes of fodder will be produced in the region this season but the quality will be lacking.
  • With export a major focus for this region, price will be closely aligned to the export market.
  • Despite this slow market, the area has one of the best supplies of stored premium cereal hay in the country.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($180 to 210/t). Prices remain steady 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

  • There were some price reductions this week as exporters quote new season prices and fodder begins trading again.
  • There is a general consensus that while supply will be up this year, the quality of feed will be below average.
  • The low quality is a result of rain during cutting (impacting almost three quarters of all crops).
  • This week has dried crops out significantly and it seems some better quality feed will be made over the coming week.
  • Exporters are reportedly finding the procurement of higher-grade fodder difficult.
  • Cereal hay: -$65 ($150 to $240/t). Prices eased significantly this week as new season fodder is traded.
  • 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

  • More cold wet weather has done little to improve the harvest for the region, as many paddocks still appear too wet.
  • Crops to the North of the state are looking far more favourable than to the South.
  • There were no changes in hay prices this week in the region as farmers purchased feed in either small bales or generally small volumes.
  • Off the back of a bad dry year, there is a real shortage of past season’s feed restricting the possibility for hay trading and any price reduction.
  • Also as a result of last year’s tight times, many farmers are looking to cut costs by focussing on home grown fodder this season.
  • Pasture availability remains quite good and is preventing any immediacy to buy.
  • Grain prices are also very competitive at the moment resulting in less interest in hay.
  • 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.