National Summary

  • Although summer has just begun, it seems that rainfall is dominating the southern Australian forecasting, extended haymaking season. There is very little demand across Australia for fodder, as the industry continues to cut and bale. New season harvests are starting to trickle into the market, which will see a change in price. Pricing will largely depend on quality and quantity of product this year and whether there remains any carryover from last year.
  • Challenges currently facing the market are of hay quality, with rains interrupting curing and baling. Moisture content in bales may be higher on average and it is suggested that tests are frequently carried out to ensure safety and quality.
  • There is range of quality hay around in central to western Victoria and South Australia as stockpiles of last season hay continue to be pushed locally and interstate. In those southern regions of the country where carryover stocks remain, growers and traders continue to look to offload to make room for the new season’s production. There is still some level of demand continuing from the dry regions of NSW, QLD and East Gippsland.
  • There is growing interest from the dairy industry in quality protein hay and there is some vetch available out of Victoria. Long term supply of quality protein hay such as may not be assured this year and there is increasing demand to buy up stocks prior to the new year.
  • Exporters continue to be active in the hay market and are looking to secure new season, quality supply; this exporter interest will help set a price in some regions for the new season hay.

Northern Australia – Summary

  • Weather in Northern Australia is presently unseasonal. Rainfall has dominated the forecast reducing ability to make hay and temperatures appear to be cooler on average.
  • Soil preparations and summer-crop so
  • Demand for product is low, as persistent rainfall coupled with favourable growing temperatures have meant less feeding out and more grazing for animals.
  • The level of enquiry and buying from southern regions seems to have slowed for the moment.
  • Lucerne and straw are particularly scarce and are sourced from NSW.
  • Securing long term, reliable supplies of quality hay may well be an issue for the north as the year progresses with demand expected to be greater than supply.
  • We suggest caution when purchasing fodder at the moment, particularly protein hay, as there continues to be a great deal of variability in what’s being traded.

Southern Australia – Summary

  • The focus in southern Australia is on clearing old stock to make way for the new season.
  • Prices are low due ot carryover and frost-bitten wheat available in north-western Tasmania and the West Victoria district.
  • East Gippsland continues to be without adequate rainfall and beef stock are reportedly heading to the west for greener pastures.
  • Bega appears to be benefiting from much needed rain after a very dry Autumn and Winter in 2017.
  • Southern Australia is generally experiencing a lull in trade and demand for hay and there is a feeling this will remain the case for some weeks to come as rain continues to fall.
  • Heavy rains and thunderstorms are forecast for the coming week, with the Bureau of Meterology issues flood warnings, particularly in northern Victoria. Rainfall of 100-200mm are expected over a couple of days which have farmers digging trenches.
  • Hay and silage production is the focus almost entirely at the moment with the weather making curing hay particularly difficult.
  • The region is once again expected to produce more than enough hay this season and will remain a strong source of supply to other regions in need throughout the country; this is being complemented by a good silage year.
  • Growers are hoping that this season will see a lift in the quality of hay produced and an improved price.
  • Exporters are reportedly actively looking for new season hay especially if quality is improved.

Western Australia – Summary

  • Prices in the west have remained relatively steady this week, with cereal hay easing slightly to account for varying qualities in the market as new season becomes available.
  • Harvesting of hay for baling and silage is well underway with weather amenable to the task.
  • The current harvest is of superior quality and in higher yields to that earlier in September.
  • There remains reasonable good supply of carryover stocks of low/medium grade hay in the system but care should be exercised when buying this.
  • Demand for carryover hay from the northern WA sheep industry is strong this week and should continue after a dry winter.
  • The domestic market is not expected to provide a lift in hay trading until after Christmas now.
  • The export industry continues to dominate the WA market and is a solid indicator on pricing. Exporters continue to seek out quality hay and as a result, will set the price in the market for quality hay.

Regional Commentary

Atherton Tablelands

  • There is very little to report on in the Atherton Tablelands with weather having not changed in the last two weeks.
  • Weather is unseasonal for this time of year, with heavy thunderstorms, high rainfall and cooler temperatures on average.
  • Forecasts predict warmer weather in the high twenties over the next week and a chance of more rain, interrupting haymaking activities.
  • Demand for pasture hay, which is predominantly Rhodes grass in the Tablelands, is low due to unseasonal rainfall. This is expected to increase as the rain eases and temperatures heat up.
  • Prices remain steady for this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $350/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.

Darling Downs

  • There seems to be a fair amount of rainfall at present in the Darling Downs region and this doesn’t seem to be dwindling over the next week.
  • Temperatures are cooler on average for this time of year in some areas and are expected to rise in the coming week.
  • Demand is quiet and fairly stable with the rains keeping trading at bay.
  • Straw prices have reportedly firmed only slightly.
  • Quality for all fodder types is highly variable and should be tested. We recommend careful inspection of fodder and using a trusted supplier when possible.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($270 to $320/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($320 to $400/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$10 ($180 to $220/t). Prices have firmed this week.

North Coast NSW

  • The North Coast New South Wales region is still receiving enough rainfall to further delay haymaking and spoil what has been cut. This is concerning for this region as haymaking is further delayed into summer, impacting on quality.
  • Temperatures are reportedly much cooler than usual for this time of year, although warmer weather is forecast for next week.
  • Local demand is quiet with the rains keeping pastures green, with the exception of enquiry from smaller hobby farmers for small squares.
  • Although wet conditions have slowed demand for feed, forecasted summer production of rice, soy and corn remain positive if the rains continue.
  • There is a limited supply of cereal hay, lucerne and straw in the region. Lucerne is being sourced from Southern Queensland from Tamworth and Gatto.
  • Very little vetch of good quality is available for $300-$350/t however there is reportedly little demand for this, except from the dairy industry.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($280 to $300/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($350 to $400/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: -$10 ($180 to $240/t). Prices have eased this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($200 to $250/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Central West NSW

  • Second cuts of Lucerne are underway in Central West NSW, with feed tests excellent to very good in quality.
  • There is quite a lot of variation reported in quality of canola available in this region and feed and mould tests are recommended to ensure value for money.
  • One of the biggest challenge for Central West NSW is the persistent rainfall impacting on harvesting, dragging out the season. There is a lot of high moisture-content hay available. Temperatures are still relatively cool for this time of year.
  • There is enquiry from within the region for good quality protein and demand for local protein from Bega. South Australia and Victoria are no longer purchasing from this area.
  • Local demand appears to be strong within the region.
  • Cereal hay prices have firmed, whilst Lucerne hay has eased.
  • Cereal hay: +$20 ($180 to $220/t) Prices have firmed this week.
  • Lucerne hay: -$35 ($280 to $3500/t) Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $130/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($150 to 200/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Bega Valley

  • Bega has experienced 60-80mm rainfall and stormy weather in the last three weeks, which has coloured pastures green and generally improved conditions for the region.
  • More rain is forecast in the coming week and temperatures remain seasonal.
  • Silage and hay are being produced when possible; however after a dry autumn, winter and half of spring, there is concern that what is produced will not be enough for next year.
  • Demand is still constant as a result of the lack of available feed over winter and farmers are filling sheds for winter.
  • There were no changes to hay prices reported in the Bega region this week. Prices remain steady for cereal hay, lucerne, straw and pasture hay and trading remains dormant.
  • There is a shortage of feed in the Bega region this year as local supply, especially of quality hay, will simply not be available.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($190 to $230/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($320 to $350/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($120 to $150/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($180 to $210/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Goulburn/Murray Valley

  • Tropical weather has moved into the Goulburn and Murray Valleys, with thunderstorms and heavy rainfall decimating some hay and crops.
  • Rainfall of varying quantities has been reported throughout this region, ranging from 5-60mm in one storm event.
  • Forecasts for the coming week are predicting 100mm of rainfall and flood warnings are imminent.
  • The equine and dairy industries are demanding lucerne, with high quality product reaching prices of $300 per tonne.
  • Vetch demand and availability is lessening.
  • New season pasture hay is back in supply this week fetching prices of $150-180 per tonne, however there is limited supply this season.
  • Cereal hay is being shipped to New South Wales and Queensland in high quantities despite having higher prices than Western Victoria. This is most likely due to less cost associated with transportation.
  • Otherwise, prices remain steady this week.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($80 to $140/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($230 to $300/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($90 to $100/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($150-180/t). Prices remain steady this week.


  • There have been murmurings of cattle moving west as East Gippsland is still without enough rainfall to keep paddocks green. The west continues to be lush, with lots of activity making hay and silage.
  • Forecasts for high rainfall in the next week might impact on haymaking and sheds are filling up to avoid rain damage.
  • Due to the frequent rainfall in the west, we recommend obtaining a mould and yeast test, a feed test and using a trusted a supplier.
  • Generally, West and South Gippsland tend to be having productive weather for high yielding silage and hay.
  • East Gippsland continues to be dry with reports of high quality hay and silage, yet quantity is reportedly down by 50%.
  • There are some concerns within the district that supply of silage will be low after Christmas as there’s talk that farmers will begin to feed in the next week or two, mixed with oaten hay to promote longevity in supply.
  • Demand is still quiet, particularly in the west with time spent making hay and animals grazing on green grasses. Demand in the east is starting to pick up coming in to Christmas.
  • Prices have not changed.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($140 to $210/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($290 to $320/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($130 to $160/t). Prices remain steady this week. Prices are indicative for last season, with no new season straw available.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($120 to $240/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southwest Victoria

  • Demand for fodder within the southwestern region is slow at the moment and very little changes in pricing reported.
  • There is more grazing than haymaking reported with light rains dominating the area in the past two weeks. It is expected that there will be more silage made due to the rain.
  • Severe frosts damaged 50% of mature and maturing wheat crops near Great Western, Ararat, Lake Bolac, and Tatyoon, which has started some hay production. This frosted wheat hay has meant more product has become available to the Western district and demand for this product has increased.
  • It will be interesting to see how forecasted rains will impact on frosted hay, especially if the product is downgraded, and what may become of the local market.
  • There is an increasing level of enquiry within the region for quality protein hay. Some protein is moving as demand and pricing is low before an expected increase after Christmas.
  • Protein hay is still difficult to come by although there are reports of very good quality vetch hay available from northern Victoria at $230-$260/t (+GST) delivered with carryover at $180 per tonne.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($110 to $190/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: -$5 ($250 to $290/t). Prices have eased this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($110 to $130/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($110 to $160/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southeast South Australia

  • Similarly to the Goulburn and Murray Valleys, Southeast South Australia is experiencing tropical weather of high humidity, persistent rainfall, hot temperatures and thunderstorms, which is uncommon for this area.
  • Some areas have reportedly received 55-80mm of rain in the last week, negatively impacting on curing and baling. Forecasts are predicting more rain and heavy storms next week.
  • According to sources, Southeast South Australia is having one of the best seasons in 16 years for hay production with quantity and quality up, although plenty of stockpiles which may impact on prices.
  • Local demand is low and trading very slow, with growers trying to move old season fodder.
  • There is very little enquiry from QLD.
  • Limited old-season vetch is available for $180-$190/t, easing the price of lucerne this week.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($80 to $140/t). Prices have remained steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: -$30 ($160 to $260/t). Prices have eased this week. The lower range represents old-season stock.
  • Straw: -$15 ($60 to $90/t). Prices have eased this week in response to the impact of carryover hay as a substitute for straw.
  • Pasture hay: -$15 ($70 to 150/t) Prices have eased this week. The lower range represents old-season stock.

Central South Australia

  • Very little change is reported in the Central South Australia region.
  • Medium rainfall was reported last week and forecasted for the coming week, which is not unusual at this time.
  • Straw has been downgraded in quality due to the rain in the past week. It is too early to comment on pricing of straw and there has been no reported change in hay prices this week.
  • Temperature is currently seasonal.
  • Domestic trading is still reportedly slow in the region, with the exception of hay being moved to the Eyre Peninsula.
  • Growers are still looking to offload as much of last season’s hay as possible and exporters are looking to move last season’s hay before making new season, greener hay available to customers.
  • The trade of hay to QLD is slowing.
  • Obtaining a feed test when buying hay is highly recommended.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($80 to 130/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($250 to 300/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($80 to $110/t). Prices remain steady this week.

Southwest Western Australia

  • Very little is to be reported from Western Australia after harvesting is complete and the dominating export industry has set their prices.
  • Rain-affected hay supply from early September this year are being moved to marginal land in the North-East of Western Australia, to feed cattle and sheep. This product is on the cheaper end of the scale with price ranges expecting to firm as sheds run out in early January.
  • We recommend obtaining a feed test as well as a mould and yeast test when purchasing fodder this year.
  • Overall, the season has provided well for the WA fodder industry.
  • Hay prices haven’t changed this week with local demand steady.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($100 to $200/t). Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($450 to $490). Prices remain steady this week.
  • 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

  • Trading is very quiet in the region at the moment with the focus on finishing off silage production and the early commencement of haymaking.
  • There has not been too much price fluctuation this week.
  • The northeast and southeastern regions of Tasmania are experiencing unseasonal dry and warm temperatures at this time of year, with no rainfall in three weeks.
  • Rain is a limiting factor to quantity of hay, and since most of Tasmania has been experiencing a dry spell, haymaking is expected to commence early and supply will be limited.
  • Frosts that came through the Western region of Victoria also moved through Tasmania last week damaging crops. It is reported that most of the hay will be cut over the next fortnight.
  • Quality of hay this season is expected to be average. There is also limited supply of good pasture hay and straw available.
  • There is still a lot of carryover from last season and this should tide Tasmania through the year.
  • Cereal hay: +/-$0 ($160 to 220/t) Prices remain steady this week.
  • Lucerne hay: +/-$0 ($220 to 300/t) Prices remain steady this week.
  • Straw: +/-$0 ($100 to 140/t) Prices remain steady this week.
  • Pasture hay: +/-$0 ($140 to 190/t) Prices remain steady this week.