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Driving Prices Up
- Supply shortages are being felt across most regions and prices are rising to meet demand. Many producers are storing fodder supplies on-farm for use by their own herds rather than releasing it to the market which is reducing the already short supplies.
- The effects of the 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 moving through the South Australian region with reports of some hay producing regions being water affected.
- Hay production is an expensive endeavour and with the higher than average input costs of fertilizer, fuel and supplies, growers will need a premium on the price of the product to cover their costs and make margin.
- Many growers are supplying only to their long term or contracted end users, due to the lack of supply.
Driving Prices Down
- Pasture growth continues to look promising across some of the eastern states, supplying good quality green feed for dairy and livestock herds. Western Australia is also seeing an above average season in silage and hay production.
- There is reported to be an increase in feed quality grain for the current bumper grain harvest due to weather damage and rainfall during the growing season. This will offer alternative fodder options for farmers.
- Lucerne plantings are providing some good quality protein hay which was predicted to be very short due to the loss of the vetch crops.
- Some growers are planting short season summer crops which may produce hay during summer, when weather may better support curing and baling activities.
- Clear conditions have been welcomed by hay producers to aid in drying activities however this is requiring some growers to irrigate pastures and fields to boost growth.
- Labour shortages and on-going issues with 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 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.