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Driving Prices Up
- Now that regional supply shortages have been accurately assessed and the widespread damage to hay and fodder crops has become evident, prices are beginning to rise in many areas.
- Recent high impact rainfall events and flooding has significantly reduced expected Spring hay production and is causing concerns due to the delayed start to any summer crop production.
- Rainfall events have disrupted most hay and fodder production plans across the eastern states with widespread reports of crop losses or crops which will no longer be suitable for high quality hay production. High protein hay will be in very short supply given the vetch hay crop failures.
- The tight hay market and the predicted shortfalls in production will reduced the available stocks to market as many producers have indicated they may only be able to produce for pre-contracted supplies. As such there will be less surplus for the open market.
- Some hay producers have not been able to continue their hay production activities as diesel cannot be delivered to farm due to road damage and flooding. Rising fuel costs will also be factored into hay and silage deliveries and will make interstate hay transport expensive.
Driving Prices Down
- The potential for considerable pasture growth in areas where high temperatures will not impact growth rates may reduce the need for hay, providing paddocks do not remain water logged for too long and can be made accessible to stock.
- Recent favourable weather conditions across most of the fodder growing regions has allowed for additional crops to be cut and baled.
- Some growers are planning on additional short season summer crops which may produce hay during summer, when weather may better support curing and baling activities.
- Rainfall totals across most of the country have been quite low with plenty of warmer sunny days, this is helping with the harvest though is also placing some pasture growth in decline as more rains will be needed.
- Labour shortages, road closures and significant road damage continue to impact timeliness of deliveries both on to and off farms. Recent hay deliveries are reporting significant delays and delivery costs are increasing.
- The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) continue to predict a wet summer over northern and eastern Australia, consistent with several climate drivers, including La Niña, a weakened negative Indian Ocean Dipole event, a positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode, and record warm waters around Australia.
- Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.