Driving Prices Up

  • Supply shortages are being felt across most regions and prices are rising to meet demand. Many mixed farmers are keeping fodder supplies on-farm for use by their own herds rather than releasing it to the market.
  • Ongoing rainfall in some areas and persistent flooding has significantly reduced expected Spring hay production and is causing concerns due to the delayed start to any summer crop production. This flood water is now starting to impact the South Australian region with reports of some hay producing regions being water affected.
  • 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 had their hay producing activities curtailed as diesel supply is problematic 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

  • Pasture growth continues to look promising across some of the eastern states, allowing livestock and dairy farmers to rely on available green feed. Western Australia is also seeing good pasture growth for both grazing and silage/hay production.
  • Recent favourable weather conditions across most of the fodder growing regions has allowed for additional crops to be cut and baled.
  • Some growers are planting short season summer crops which may produce hay during summer, when weather may better support curing and baling activities.

Local News

  • Rainfall has been welcomed in some regions that were looking for a boost to pastures in conjunction with the warmer sunny days. The mostly clear outlook is allowing harvest to continue to try and make up the delay to the start of the season.
  • Ongoing input costs as well as labour shortages and continuing road closures and repairs are expected to continue to impact the producing regions of the eastern states well into 2023.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicts that most of the country has close to equal chances of above median rainfall during January to March, while below median rainfall is likely for southern South Australia and the far south-west of Western Australia. January to March minimum temperatures are very likely to be warmer than median for almost all of Australia except over north-eastern New South Wales where the forecast is closer to neutral.
  • Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.