Rainfall has led to repeated flooding events across northern New South Wales and Queensland. Water has damaged pastures, summer crops and on farm fodder stores. Mud is impacting stock health. Local fodder supply in the region is dominated by donations and emergency fodder relief packages. Good quality hay is required to support stock recover health.
In other regions the bureau of meteorology has reported rainfall significantly below March averages for most of the Northern Territory, western and central parts of Queensland, western parts of Tasmania, and across much of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula
The bureau of meteorology have reported serious rainfall deficiencies (totals in the lowest 10% of historical observations since 1900) affecting parts of southern Australia from December 2021.
There are reports some transport companies are applying a 5 – 10% fuel levy. Some hay growers, who deliver locally, have indicated they will raise cartage fees by up to 50 cents per kilometre or will apply a fuel surcharge of up to 10%, to cover increased fuel costs.
Input costs and ongoing labour shortages are expected to impact decisions regarding the new cropping season. During these times of increased production costs and strong export market demand for wheat and canola, those who produce hay opportunistically may chose other crops.
There is increasing demand for good quality cereal hay and vetch hay. However, supplies of both are low. Lucerne prices are slowly rising as it is being purchased to fill the protein gap.
Driving Prices Down
Rainfall and mild weather had boosted pasture growth. Many feed users continue to be confident ryegrasses and other pasture growth will support stock without need for supplementary feed.
Varied qualities of fodder are available on the market. Growers with lower grade hay, particularly hay stacked outside are expected to actively trade this in the coming months.
The quality of new season hay was impacted by continuing rain events across most states. Rainfall has meant many crops were harvested later than usual, resulting in coarser hay.
The Darling Downs and northeast New South Wales regions, in particular Lismore, has been again impacted by heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding. The ongoing damage and loss is impacting farmers and their local communities. The local fodder market is unsteady due to donations hay and fodder. High quality feed is needed to support the recovery of stock impacted by mud and rain.
Farmers and growers surrounding the areas of Gympie, Fassifern Valley and the north coast of New South Wales have continued to provide hay donations to support farmers with livestock affected by the floods. Active fundraising continues to be needed to provide support to cover the high fuel costs which are increasing transport costs to deliver feed into the affected areas.
Dry conditions in some cropping regions will impact crop choice decisions. In other regions the ongoing availability of pasture, will be a determining factor in whether the market for fodder remains slow.
Lack of rain in western Victoria, and some parts of South Australia and Tasmania, are driving early enquiries from those looking to secure feed for winter.
Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchasing to be sure of the quality of the feed.