Ongoing support to access good quality hay is required to support stock recovery in areas where repeat flood events have impacted pastures across Northern NSW and into Qld. Sales are expected to increase as the winter progresses, donations and Departmental emergency fodder are phased out.
The bureau of meteorology has reported heavy rainfall across parts of WA, with low to moderate rain falls across most grain cropping regions. Most SA and Victorian cropping regions have had between 5-10 mm of rain if any.
In temperate zones pasture growth will now be inhibited by temperatures leading to an expected increase in demand for hay for supplementary feeding and stock support.
Grain and fodder producers are sowing and as predicted many grain farmers have increased plantings of canola, wheat and barley due to high world market demand. Hay production may be down this year.
Input costs will continue to impact cropping and fodder management decisions. Replenishing pasture hay will not be a priority for fertiliser application which will reduce quantities of Spring pasture hay.
Despite the temporary 20-cent reduction in fuel excise, fuel costs have again increased. Higher transport costs and/or fuel levies are expected to remain a feature of pricing for fodder this year.
There has been high demand for good quality cereal hay and vetch hay. However, supplies of both are very low. Lucerne prices are slowly rising as it is being purchased to fill the protein gap. Supplies are expected to continue to tighten as the season progresses.
Driving Prices Down
Varied qualities of fodder are available on the market due to weather damage. Growers with lower grade hay, particularly hay stacked outside have been actively trading.
The quality of new season hay was impacted by continuing rain events across most states. Rainfall has meant many crops were harvested later than usual, resulting in coarser hay of lower quality.
On Wednesday 25 May, the Bureau published a formal record of the extreme rainfall and flooding in south-east Queensland and eastern New South Wales, documenting the 22 February to 9 March 2022 event in Special Climate Statement 76. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/statements
Grain and fodder growers are focused on sowing across all regions and while there is reasonable confidence of a good season in many areas, some regions are still waiting for breaking rains.
High input costs and availability of labour are causing general concern.
The continued availability of pasture, where growth has been supported by rainfall and warm weather, had kept the Autumn market for fodder slow, as per past years. Demand is now increasing.
Some mouse damage to stored fodder and sown crops is been reported.
Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchasing to be sure of the quality of the feed.