With continuing heavy rainfall and cold temperatures across many regions, 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, hay and silage will be in high demand. Stocks of hay in many areas which had been providing donations into flood affected areas are now low. Growers concerned about rising input costs will continue to reduce the amount of hay they feel they can donate.
The bureau of meteorology has reported reasonable rainfalls across the east coast while medium to heavy falls in areas of south west Western Australian and western Tasmania.
There has been a significant drop in temperatures reducing the rate of pasture and grazing crop growth. This is supporting an increase in the demand for hay.
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. Grain and fodder producers will not prioritise fertiliser application for pasture hay. This may reduce quantities of pasture hay produced 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 are now very low.
Driving Prices Down
Continued confidence that pasture growth will support stock without need for supplementary feed has kept demand for hay and fodder in some areas 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 prices remain low because of a misconception about availability of good quality hay. The slow build-up of enquiries, and the impact international grain prices had on crop choices may be leading to misconception about future available stocks.
The Bureau of Meteorology have indicated climate model outlooks indicate a negative IOD event is still highly 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 as concerns by many farmers contacted for the hay report.
There is concern the high price of inputs, lack of availability of farm labour and likelihood of continuing higher than average rainfall in some regions is not being factored into fodder prices.
Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.