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Driving Prices Up
- Supply shortages are now firmly entrenched, and the lack of good quality protein hay is seeing the price of some alternatives, especially Lucerne, continue to rise.
- Demand is strong, notably for this time of year, which is usually pretty quiet, with the known shortfall bringing more end users into the market, especially farmers who traditionally had a locked in supplier who could not meet supply due to weather or flooding events.
- Pastures are continuing to dry without summer rains, most significantly in NSW and SA which is reducing the amount of available green feed.
- Recent heavy falls of rain in Northern and Central Queensland are bringing more livestock producers on to the market looking for supplies.
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.
- There is some optimism in relation to the amount of Lucerne which will be coming on the market as growers under irrigation are looking for multiple cuts.
- 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.
- Road and rail infrastructure continues to show the strain from the bumper grain harvest as it moves through the states. Contractors are unable to meet some requests due to long delays at receival sites preventing drivers being available for other cartage operations.
- 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.