Driving Prices Up

  • Good quality hay will continue to be required to support stock in areas where ongoing rain events and flooding has reduced ability for pastures to recover and be used as feed source. Stocks of hay in many areas which had been providing donations into flood affected areas are now low. Growers concerned about rising input costs may continue to reduce the amount of hay they feel they can donate.
  • The bureau of meteorology has reported reasonable rainfalls across many hay and grain producing regions across much of Australia. This has maintained confidence in the season and encouraged farmers to hold onto livestock.
  • Below average rainfall has fallen in hay producing areas of New South Wales, central and eastern South Australia and southwest regions of Western Australia and Tasmania.
  • There has been a drop in temperatures as expected over winter, reducing the rate of pasture and grazing crop growth. This is expected to lead to an increase in demand for hay.
  • Current high forward contract prices for oilseeds, cereals and pulses focussed grain growers on the profitability of grain crops against hay production. Opportunistic hay production has not been seen as a price competitive cropping option, therefore a smaller number of hectares has been sown this season.
  • Input costs continue to impact cropping decisions as grain and fodder producers undertake sowing and for most producers’ pasture hay will not be a priority for fertiliser application. This may reduce quantities of pasture hay produced and available during late winter/early spring.
  • Slow but steady increase in inquires to source feed and increase on hand supplies. However, supplies of high quality cereal hay in particular are now very low.
  • Lucerne prices are rising as it is being purchased to fill the protein gap.

Driving Prices Down

  • Continued confidence that pasture growth will support stock without need for supplementary feed has kept demand for hay and fodder steady.
  • Varied qualities of fodder are still available on the market. Growers with lower grade hay, particularly hay stacked outside have been actively trading. There are concerns that prices remain low because of a misconception about availability of good quality hay.
  • Slow build-up of enquiries for hay and fodder may be leading to a misconception about available stocks.

Local News

  • The Bureau of Meteorology have indicated climate model outlooks indicate a negative IOD event is likely for the coming months. A negative IOD along with warmer than average sea surface temperatures increase the chances of above average winter–spring rainfall for much of Australia.
  • The range of biosecurity incidents which may impact Australian agriculture are causing concern. Reports of Foot and Mouth Disease in Bali and the incursion of varroa destructor mite are being raised by many farmers contacted for the hay report.
  • Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.