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Driving Prices Up
- Supply shortages have now become very apparent, and the lack of good quality protein hay is seeing the price of alternatives, especially Lucerne, continue to rise. This increase has been forecast for some time as the hay production outlook firmed.
- The long term impact from persistent and frequent flooding in certain regions over the winter and spring has, as expected, lead to a much reduced hay production total across the eastern states.
- Pastures are continuing to dry without summer rains, most significantly in NSW and SA which is reducing the amount of available green feed.
- Some expected summer crop plantings have not taken place as the conditions were not conducive to good growth with the outlays to boost the crop not forecast to be met by expected market prices.
Driving Prices Down
- Pasture growth continues to look promising in some of the eastern states, most especially in Victoria, supplying good quality green feed for dairy and livestock herds. Parts of Gippsland and the South West are producing more hay than was expected. Western Australia is also seeing an above average season in silage and hay production.
- There is an abundance of feed grain options due to the bumper harvest combined with some adverse weather conditions leading to a downgrade of some grains.
Silage production has been quite good across parts of the country, which is helping to fill some fodder shortages.
- Ongoing clear conditions in the eastern mainland and Tasmania have been welcomed by hay producers to aid in hay production. However the dry conditions are causing some issues and requiring some growers to irrigate pastures and fields to boost green feed growth as well as bed in any summer plantings.
- Labour shortages and delays and damage to road and rail infrastructure is expected to continue to impact the industry for quite some time. Most transport infrastructure repair work is slated to continue well into 2023. The recent flooding in Northern WA and the NT is expected to pull resources into the area which will exacerbate delays in other states.
- The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicts that most of the country has close to equal chances of above median rainfall during February to April while below median rainfall is likely for southern South Australia and the far south-west of Western Australia. South Australia and Western Australia have an increased risk of unusually dry conditions. February to April 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.