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Driving Prices Up
- Dry conditions in the north of the country continue to keep demand fairly steady which is stabilising prices at a higher point. Feedlots are seeing an increase in need as producers destock to manage their on-farm usage which is driving demand from that sector.
- Transport costs continue to be a factor in the overall cost of fodder as producer’s factor in the high cost of fuel as well as the availability of drivers to deliver the fodder due to the earlier than expected start to grain harvest in some parts of the country.
- Exporters continue to source cereal hay throughout the country and are looking for good parcels at premium prices. This is providing a base line for cereal hay which will need to be met by local buyers who are looking to buy new season hay.
- Most of the older hay supplies that are going to be sold are now released to the market which means better quality new season hay is now starting to dictate prices.
Driving Prices Down
- Local pasture availability, especially in the south of the country is keeping demand reduced.
- The continuing reduction in the size of the beef herd and sheep flocks is applying downward pressure on prices as demand wanes in local areas.
- Silage and hay is being cut throughout the regions which are bringing about over the fence selling and local repeat customer supply, which leads to much reduced transport costs.
- On farm supplies continue to be reasonable, which is allowing mixed farmers to balance their buying choices and making longer term contracts and decisions when the price is good.
- Exporters are sourcing good quality oaten hay from across the country as the hay season moves through the regions, with plenty of trucks moving through the southern states to port.
- The amount of agricultural land which has been affected by fires in NSW and QLD is continuing to come in, which some growers reporting a fair amount of feed paddock losses and increasing stock losses. Some small relief and donation deliveries of fodder are already being arranged.
- There is some concern in South Gippsland with a limit on the height of grass allowed on land, with farmers indicating that agricultural land should be exempt from the restriction as the height maximum would be below the usual grazing and fodder production levels. This is of particular concern as the silage season in Gippsland is looking very good.
- The Bureau has declared that an El Niño and a positive IOD are underway. The declaration of these events, and their concurrence over spring, reinforces the Bureau’s long-range rainfall and temperature forecasts, which continue to predict warmer and drier conditions for much of Australia over the next three months. Models indicate further warming is likely and that this El Niño is likely to persist until at least the end of February.
- Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.