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Read about hay and grain and their contribution to farm inputs and costs.

National summary

National background comments: report for week ending 17th November, 2017

The next update will be on Friday 24th November 2017. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national hay summary.

The hay market remains largely inactive this week with very little demand and trade as a result. Prices are starting to change as new season harvests enter the market. Growers continue to focus on hay and silage production but due to cooler weather in many regions this week, attempts to make quality hay are tested. Getting cut hay cured is an issue in many regions that have started production. Silage production seems to be faring much better with reports of good quality achieved.

Buyers are few and far between and content to sit out of the market waiting to see what the new production will deliver in terms of quantity, quality and price. Growers are hoping that a decrease in production and increase in quality might result in higher prices this year. In southern regions carryover stocks remain and growers continue to offload hay to make room in sheds. Demand for this hay continues from dry regions in New South Wales, Queensland and east Gippsland.

Exporters continue to be active in the hay market, looking to secure new season, quality supply; this interest will help set a price in some regions. There is growing interest in quality protein hay. Long term supply of quality protein hay such as vetch and lucerne may not be assured this year according to some reports

Northern Australia - Summary

  • Prices for cereal, pasture and lucerne hay eased.
  • The north is reporting unseasonal weather, with plenty of rainfall and cooler temperature, which brought relief and contributed to less demand for fodder.
  • Soil preparations and summer-crop sowing has been relaxed by persistent rainfall, however planting has started in northern New South Wales.
  • The level of enquiry and buying from southern regions have slowed.
  • Lucerne and straw are particularly scarce. Most quality protein hay can fetch over $300/tonne to $400/tonne.
  • Securing long term, reliable supplies of quality hay may be an issue as demand is expected to exceed supply this season.
  • We suggest caution when purchasing fodder, particularly protein hay, as there continues to be a great deal of variability traded.

Southern Australia - Summary

  • Hay prices are beginning to firm as good quality, new season hay is coming onto the market.
  • Southern Australia is experiencing a lull in trade and some reports suggest this will remain the case for some weeks as rain continues to fall.
  • Hay and silage production is the focus at the moment with weather causing production issues and making curing hay difficult.
  • The region is expected to produce more than enough hay this season and will be a strong source of supply.
  • Growers are hoping this season will see a lift in the quality of hay produced and improved prices.
  • Exporters are reportedly actively looking for new season hay, especially if quality is improved.
  • The overflow of hay from last season is finding some interest from dry northern regions. Care should be exercised when buying as quality can be significantly compromised.
  • Regions in Western Victoria was hit by frosts this week with some wheat crops suffering 50% losses. Bega and south Gippsland are still extremely dry.

Western Australia - Summary

  • Prices remain steady this week, with cereal hay prices easing slightly as new season becomes available.
  • Harvesting of hay for baling and silage is well underway with weather amenable to the task.
  • The current harvest is of superior quality and higher yields than earlier in September.
  • Reasonable good supply of carryover stocks of low/medium grade hay in the market, care should be exercised when buying this.
  • The domestic market is not expected to provide a lift in trading until after Christmas.
  • The export industry continues to dominate the Western Australian market and is a solid indicator on pricing.
17-November-2017 Hay
Cereal Lucerne Straw Pasture
Atherton Tablelands Price Range N/A N/A N/A $240 $300
Change -$35
Darling Downs Price Range $270 $320 $320 $400 $160 $220 NA NA
Change -$15 -$40 Steady NA
North Coast NSW Price Range $280 $300 $380 $400 $200 $240 $200 $250
Change -$35 -$25 Steady -$40
Central West NSW Price Range $140 $200 $300 $400 $110 $130 $150 $200
Change Steady $25 Steady $15
Bega Valley Price Range $190 $230 $320 $350 $120 $150 $180 $210
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Goulburn / Murray Valley Price Range $80 $140 $230 $300 $90 $100 $150 $180
Change $10 $20 Steady $5
Gippsland Price Range $140 $210 $290 $320 $130 $160 $120 $240
Change Steady Steady Steady $25
South West Victoria Price Range $110 $190 $260 $290 $110 $130 $110 $160
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South East South Australia Price Range $80 $120 $240 $300 $80 $100 $100 $150
Change -$15 $25 -$15 -$10
Central Districts SA Price Range $80 $130 $250 $300 $80 $110 N/A N/A
Change Steady Steady Steady N/A
South West WA Price Range $100 $200 $450 $490 $90 $110 $150 $200
Change -$10 Steady Steady Steady
North West Tasmania Price Range $160 $220 $220 $300 $100 $140 $140 $190
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady

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