Driving Prices Up

  • Now that once regional supply shortages have been accurately assessed and the widespread damage to hay and fodder crops has become evident, prices are beginning to rise quickly.
  • 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 has 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.
  • With supplies tight and quality not yet fully assessed due to harvest delays a growing number of producers have indicated they will be hard pressed to harvest and process hay for existing customers. They are expecting to have little if any sale available for new customers or general sales on the open market.
  • The seasonal conditions and ongoing rain will lead to a reduction in the quality of in paddock dry feed which will put further pressure on demand for hay and silage.
  • 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 sileage 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.
  • 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.

Local News

  • Labour shortages, road closures and significant road damage continue to impact timeliness of deliveries both onto and off farms. Hay deliveries will be delayed and delivery costs will increase.
  • The Bureau of Meterology (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.
  • Weekly rainfall totals of 50 to 100 mm of rain were recorded in central and north-eastern Victoria, the New South Wales South West Slopes district and across much of Tasmania.
  • With moisture profiles already at saturation point, continued rainfall events have led to many flooding events across eastern Australia. The flooding is damaging crops and infrastructure. The rain events and flooding are causing significant disruptions to grain harvest and hay production.
  • Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.