National Summary

  • With most of the country now drying out and showing consistent signs of spring, harvest has switched into top gear and remains the focus for growers. This has seen a great deal of potential fodder buyers sit out of the market this week until the outcome of the harvest is better known. With the supply in sheds dwindling however and new season feed being baled as we speak, the next fortnight should see some real change in the market.
  • In most cases these changes will include a reduction to current prices due to both greater supply and a generally lower standard in terms of quality. Overall we are predicting most states will have ample supply of fodder this season. Some regions will be lacking and this will include some of the traditionally larger hay making areas like the Goulburn/ Murray Valley and Central West NSW.
  • With so much late rainfall prolonging the start of harvest and continuing after its commencement, the need to carefully inspect fodder will be paramount this year. We recommend getting a feed test as well as using a trusted supplier.

Northern Australia – Summary

  • There have been mixed reports from the ongoing harvest in Northern regions.
  • Along the coast, reports indicate some areas have become very dry and will struggle to produce large volumes of fodder at competitive prices.
  • With harvest now underway, there is currently little hay being traded.
  • Some regions in the North and in particular to the West, fodder production is well above average.
  • Patches of rain during harvest have had a negative impact on quality.
  • Hay prices have begun to ease due to an influx of supply and general reduction in fodder quality.

Southern Australia – Summary

  • Reports indicate crops are now drying out surprisingly well.
  • More clear weather is on the way, supplying growers with a good window for baling.
  • Good volumes of fodder are expected to be 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.
  • Very little hay was traded this week as most buyers focus on the harvest at hand and await further price reductions once the new season product dictates the market.
  • 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

  • A further price reduction was noted this week as the market continues to try and deal with the new season’s fodder.
  • The domestic price is loosely based on the export industry who has suggested there will be an oversupply of low quality feed this year.
  • There is still relatively 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.
  • Rain events also did damage to the earlier crops to be harvested.
  • Reports indicate that some later crops have however escaped any rain damage.
  • The Northern section of the region has experienced worse rain damage than other parts.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • Favourable harvest conditions have led to some quality feed being made in the region.
  • There isn’t enormous volumes being reported but growers are still positive supply will be up from last year.
  • Limited fodder is being traded at this time, with the market expected to experience little change in 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.
  • Any of 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

  • Most growers are now well and truly into the hay harvest with mixed results being reported.
  • Some parts of the region experienced an earlier dry finish that has negatively impacted numerous crops.
  • Farmers are now predicting a tighter year for supply than initially thought.
  • Quality could also be an issue with initial feed tests rating the new season feed poorly compared to previous years.
  • There are pockets of the region that will produce a lot of hay however, particularly to the West due to a more favourable spring.
  • There is currently a low demand for purchased fodder despite farmers reporting limited supply in sheds.
  • Comments suggest most buyers are waiting out of the market in anticipation of a price reduction.
  • A good amount of silage has been produced already in the region and is reportedly of good quality.
  • There continues to be a consistent demand from chaff mills.
  • Cereal hay: -$30 ($200 to $240/t). Prices have eased this week with the introduction of new season feed.
  • 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

  • Limited trading took place this week as harvest remains the main focus for the region.
  • Most farmers are sitting out of the market as the full potential and price of this season’s harvest is realised.
  • The region has not experienced substantial rainfall for some weeks which caused a rise in demand yet to eventuate into buying.
  • A price reduction was experienced this week due to the introduction of competitive new season fodder into the market.
  • Reports from the harvest are mixed and not overwhelmingly positive.
  • Quality is reportedly average but there’s a generally good supply.
  • Without consistent rainfall, the abundance of grass feed has dwindled.
  • Buying in small quantities for hobbies farms continues but is having no impact on pricing at this point.
  • Cereal hay: -$20 ($200 to $230/t). Prices eased 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 reports of major hay trading this week and harvest remains the primary focus for the region.
  • There have been mixed results from this year’s harvest with reports indicating some good looking feed is now being produced in the North of the region.
  • The general theme is that most feed is of a lower quality than last season.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • With good pasture availability in much of the region, demand is still quite low.
  • Due to the variable quality of fodder in the region, including last year’s hay, we recommend getting a feed test and carefully inspecting the product before purchase.
  • 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

  • Growers are reporting a positive start to harvest in the region but little hay is being traded currently.
  • A good volume of feed is expected to be produced after a favourable winter for crops.
  • Due to looming influx of supply, there is talk of a price reduction in the coming weeks for growers to be competitive.
  • Reports indicate good pasture availability remains and this is keeping demand subdued.
  • 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

  • Another week of good curing conditions has seen farmers finally get into hay harvest in the region.
  • With more sunshine on the way things are looking more positive for this year’s harvest.
  • Comments suggest that feed tests are still likely to show a slump in quality this year compared to last.
  • 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.
  • Initial reports have new season cereal hay trading at around the $130/t. This is yet to fully be realised in the market.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($220 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • 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.


  • Harvest is going along well in the region with predictions of good supply being reported.
  • The region has reportedly missed out on a number of big rain events that damaged crops to the North and West of the state.
  • Curing conditions have been fickle however and quality is expected to be variable.
  • 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 with farmers looking to cut costs and take advantage of more favourable home grown feed options.
  • Some good silage has been made in the region along with some of poorer quality.
  • The East of the region is still drying out but comments suggest most growers have now been able to get into harvest.
  • 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 remains the focus the region and most buying are currently sitting out of the market waiting to see the impact of the new season feed.
  • New season hay predicted to hit the market in the coming fortnight with a price reduction expected as a result.
  • Feed quality this expected to be down this year compared to the last.
  • This will be obvious in both the test results and the appearance of fodder.
  • A great deal of hay that has been cut in paddocks reportedly looks quite poor.
  • Vetch that’s been baled so far is also of poor quality.
  • Good volumes of silage are being made in the region. Growers that have made silage later have had more success in terms of quality.
  • The expectation is that most farmers will now ride out good pasture availability until the new season feed hits the market.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • No changes were reported to hay trading in the region this week with low demand from farmers.
  • Harvest is now in full swing as remain the main focus for farmers in the area.
  • 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.
  • It is possible that there will be an oversupply for lower quality feed this season and a number of growers will not produce the export quality feed they were aiming for.
  • Like many of the Southern regions, harvest has been delayed a number of weeks due to rain. This has created a number of issues with appearance and quality.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($190 to $220/t). Prices have eased this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($290 to $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

  • Another good week of mostly dry weather has helped growers currently in the midst of harvest.
  • Hay trading continues to be on hold during this process with many farmers anticipating a drop in prices within the month.
  • Exporters are now quoting a far reduced price and the domestic industry will follow suit once hay begins to be traded.
  • It is expected that good volumes of fodder will be produced in the region this season but the quality will be lacking.
  • 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

  • Small volumes of fodder began moving again this week after prices eased with the introduction of this years hay last week.
  • Prices firmed this week slightly due to a higher quality being traded.
  • Reports indicate hay baled later is producing some good test results from labs.
  • There is a general consensus that while supply will be up this year, the quality of feed will be below average.
  • Over three quarters of crops in the region were damaged by rain to some extent. Therefor careful inspection and obtaining a feed test is recommended to ensure value for money.
  • Another week of good weather has dried crops out significantly.
  • Cereal hay: +$5 ($160 to $240/t). Prices firmed 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

  • Harvest continues in the region between rainfall with mixed results.
  • The North of the state is reportedly fairing much better in the ongoing harvest having experienced less rain from the recent storms fronts.
  • Small volumes continue to be traded around the region however this is yet to really impact the market.
  • 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.
  • This may see less hay traded in the region 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.