Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

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Knowing how the fodder market works is the first step in setting up a smart strategy for buying fodder.

Buying fodder

When buying fodder

  • Be aware that fodder, unlike grain, is a domestic market and hay prices are less transparent than grain prices.
  • Always buy according to weight (tonnes not bales).
  • Always ask for a feed analysis to determine its nutritional value. This will also assist in feed budgeting.
  • Consider using a sliding scale to match price with quality.
  • To manage price risks, consider forward contracting in your feed buying plan as an alternative to buying at the spot price.
  • Always use a contract to secure supply.
  • You can use the 'Contract confirmation form' from the GTA website Obtain Vendor Declarations or use QA-accredited suppliers to satisfy your milk company's QA requirements.
  • You can find more information at the Australian Fodder Industry Association website.


  • Run your fodder stocks down to nil each year, and accept the risk that you will have to pay high spot prices if you need to buy more fodder than expected.
  • Maintain fodder stocks in reserve for lean growing seasons.
  • In good years conserve extra forage as silage.
  • Using purchased hay may offer you control over nutritional quality.
  • Be pro-active in developing a relationship with a professional hay producer.

More information

Buying fodder in a domestic market (PDF, 520KB)

This document helps you understand how the fodder market operates to help you develop a fodder buying strategy that meets your needs.

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