National Summary

Driving Prices Up

  • While Western Australia is seeing some limited pasture feeding availability due to the rains, the majority of the area is still dry and requires fodder supplies for animal health and support. South Australia is still very dry and is now only supplying locally which is reducing availability elsewhere.
  • Fodder is still moving against the usual trend from the north to the south and from central regions to the coasts to meet the unusual seasonal conditions.
  • Demand is strong as producers look to fill on-farm storage before the onset of cooler winter conditions slow pasture growth. The lack of rain across the southern states has led to a lack of growth and will likely lead to a winter feed gap. It is strongly suggested that farmers look to lock in supplies as there is a good degree of belief that there will be shortages in winter.

Driving Prices Down

  • Good growth in short maturity winter feed varieties in QLD and NSW is reducing demand in the marketplace in areas where this feed is available, which does have a limited follow on effect outside those areas.
  • Older fodder supplies remain available on the market as producers clear out sheds to meet demand, some of this is quite low quality which is reducing the overall price point, however this hay is usually weather damaged from previous seasons and has limited usage.
  • Other fodder options than hay and silage are available, such as almond hulls to add to feed mixes, which is helping balance some demand.

Local News

  • South West Victoria continues to be dry for almost all of the area, with the exception of some parts in the east near the Otways. The reduced pastures and tightening of available fodder supplies is seeing producers source feed from QLD and NSW as well as central Victoria to meet needs.
  • Tasmania’s dry conditions continue for most of the state and supplies are running low. Fodder continues to be sourced from the mainland, but the process can be slow due to biosecurity measures.
  • The Central West of NSW appears to be currently facing a shortage of good quality cereal hay and is looking to bring in supplies from the Riverina.
  • The Bureau has stated that El Niño has ended and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has returned to neutral. Climate models indicate ENSO will likely continue to be neutral until at least July 2024. Models indicate that central Pacific Sea surface temperatures (SST) to reach La Niña thresholds in July, El Niño and La Niña predictions made in mid-autumn tend to have lower accuracy than predictions made at other times of the year. This means that current forecasts of the ENSO state beyond July should be used with caution.
  • Buyers are encouraged to feed test and view fodder before purchase to be sure of the quality of feed.