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Read about hay and its contribution to farm inputs and costs.

National summary

National background comments: report for the week ending 15th May, 2020.

The next update will be on Friday 29th May, 2020. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national summary for hay.

Central West NSW, southern NSW and most parts of Victoria continue to enjoy ideal conditions for winter seeding. These areas are also starting to experience consistent cooler days, and this will see some green feed start to burn off.

Bega is still heavily affected by the dry conditions and the Darling Downs is looking for widespread rainfall as it starts to dry out with no follow up rain since March. Southwest Western Australia is also in need of decent rainfall within the next fortnight. There start has been much slower due to limited rain but still more positive then this time last year.

Many parts of Australia have reported above average rainfall for April and wonder if this will be a repeated pattern for the coming months as we head into Winter. Sowing for next season is happening in all areas of Australia now. With South Australia and Western Australia now well underway.

Much discussion is still on COVID-19 and the ripple effect as we tick off another week and see some restrictions start to ease.

Prices have remained steady as there is little trade of hay across the whole country. Multiple sources suggest, that if we continue to have such great conditions is there could potentially be a great deal of hay on the market in the coming year. We don’t expect demand to increase until the southern parts feel the effects of winter when cattle producers will look for more roughage.

Northern Australia - Summary

  • After consistent rainfall, demand has eased in northern Australia.
  • Late summer crops have been sown in some parts of northern Australia and are being turned into hay and chopped silage. The Atherton Tablelands continues to receive light showers and many overcast days, making it very difficult to get anything in the bail.
  • Supply of feed has been limited with a lot of hay being carted into the region from the southern parts of the nation, this is now slowing with current hay trucks delivering previously committed orders.
  • There are reports of orders being cancelled due to the recent rains and the availability of green pick.

Southern Australia - Summary

  • There has been continued rainfall over much of southern Australia and seeding of new season crops is well underway.
  • A lot of hay has been moving to the northern regions, but this has significantly slowed down.
  • Yields have been good for many in the south, however hay making conditions has been difficult this season due to inclement weather.
  • There is hay on the market that has been rained on in parts of southern Australia which has varying degrees of weather damage.

Western Australia - Summary

  • Domestic demand is steady in southwest Western Australia.
  • New season hay and straw has moved fast and is limited in supply. A lot of hay in the state is now committed.
  • There is some domestic cereal hay on the market, but it’s deemed too expensive.
  • With a break now being felt across the area after widespread rainfall some confidence of it being a better season has started to return. Continued decent rainfall will still be needed to keep the West out of trouble.

Price change in table below reflects moves since previous report (8th May, 2020)

15-May-2020 Hay
Cereal Lucerne Straw Pasture
Atherton Tablelands Price Range N/A N/A N/A $230 $280
Change Steady
Darling Downs Price Range $360 $420 $450 $500 $150 $200 $200 $250
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
North Coast NSW Price Range $400 $450 $400 $450 $100 $150 $220 $250
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Central West NSW Price Range $360 $400 $420 $460 $100 $150 $160 $200
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Bega Valley Price Range $350 $400 $600 $650 $200 $230 $400 $500
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Goulburn / Murray Valley Price Range $190 $220 $450 $500 $80 $100 $250 $330
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Gippsland Price Range $280 $340 $550 $650 $150 $200 $180 $240
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South West Victoria Price Range $240 $280 $500 $600 $80 $100 $150 $180
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South East South Australia Price Range $270 $300 $380 $500 $100 $140 $200 $250
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Central Districts SA Price Range $200 $225 $400 $480 $90 $140 N/A N/A
Change Steady Steady Steady N/A
South West WA Price Range $320 $370 $450 $490 $120 $140 $200 $220
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
North West Tasmania Price Range $260 $340 $370 $400 $150 $200 $250 $320
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady


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Hay and grain reports

The hay and grain report is commissioned by Dairy Australia to provide an independent and timely assessment of hay and grain markets in each dairying region. The report is updated 40 weeks per year.

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