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

Primary content

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

National summary

National background comments: report for week ending 15th June, 2018

The next update will be on Friday 22nd June, 2018. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national hay summary.

As winter settles in, demand for fodder is noticeably strong in all regions of the country. There are reports of trucks on every main highway, delivering feed where it is needed.

Further to the transport grants, the NSW Government has released The Drought Assistance Fund, to facilitate sustainable primary production in New South Wales during drought. Farmers can apply for funding to assist with transport, for water and fodder infrastructure and genetics.

Most regions have reported rainfall this week, although it continues to fall in patches and subsoils are reportedly lacking in moisture. WA has had a break in the past fortnight and seeding is on schedule. Southeast South Australia and Tasmania appear to have also had a clear break, where most other regions have had a late start to the season. Frosts, snow and severe weather warnings have been forecast for the weekend in New South Wales and Victoria.

There have been some reports of staggered growth and mouldy seed, without substantial follow-up rain to encourage germination in Victoria. Bega reportedly has had some good growth with crops almost ready to graze.

After weeks of rising enquiry, demand appears to have hit a peak in central New South Wales and is plateauing. Rising demand is still reported all around the country and as supply diminished prices are firming.

It will be interesting to see what the future market holds: farmers expected carryover stockpiles from 2016 to maintain over the winter and chose to plant less accordingly. However the market has since turned and sheds appear to be emptying very quickly.

There is a lot of transported around the country of varying quality. We caution buyers and recommend feed-testing and viewing fodder before purchasing to be sure of quality of feed.

Northern Australia - Summary

  • Protein and roughage is becoming difficult to source in the north, however alternative feeds such as sorghum stubble and high-moisture corn stubble might be a future option.
  • Alternative fodder supplies such as almond hulls and cottonseed is impacting on the fodder market at present.
  • Securing long term, reliable supplies of quality hay may well be an issue for the north as the year progresses with demand expected to exceed supply.

Southern Australia - Summary

  • There is a cold front pushing through central New South Wales this weekend, with snow predicted.
  • Rainfall has begun to moisten soils but much more is needed.
  • New season hay is selling quickly and carryover stocks from 2016 is moving across Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia.
  • Demand is exceeding supply in central west New South Wales and predicted in northern Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
  • Protein enquiry is strong and expected to remain. Lucerne, vetch and straw supply is beginning to deplete.
  • Due to high levels of persistent rainfall in spring, we recommend obtaining a mould and yeast test, a feed test, and using a trusted a supplier.

Western Australia - Summary

  • Local domestic demand, especially for cattle, is very strong and it’s reportedly difficult to source domestic supply of fodder.
  • The export market is supporting this strong domestic demand.
  • The export industry continues to dominate the WA market and is a solid indicator on pricing. Exporters continue to seek out quality hay and as a result, will set the price in the market for quality hay.
15-June-2018 Hay
Cereal Lucerne Straw Pasture
Atherton Tablelands Price Range N/A N/A N/A $250 $300
Change Steady
Darling Downs Price Range $340 $380 $400 $540 $250 $320 $250 $300
Change Steady Steady Steady #VALUE!
North Coast NSW Price Range $280 $300 $400 $450 $250 $300 $300 $350
Change Steady Steady Steady $100
Central West NSW Price Range $250 $320 $350 $450 $100 $130 $180 $250
Change Steady Steady $10 Steady
Bega Valley Price Range $300 $360 $380 $400 $140 $170 $250 $320
Change Steady $15 Steady $35
Goulburn / Murray Valley Price Range $100 $230 $250 $300 $90 $120 $150 $200
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Gippsland Price Range $160 $300 $350 $400 $140 $170 $120 $240
Change $45 $70 $10 Steady
South West Victoria Price Range $180 $250 $250 $350 $100 $150 $110 $160
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South East South Australia Price Range $220 $300 $250 $300 $90 $110 $180 $200
Change $150 $70 $25 $80
Central Districts SA Price Range $150 $180 $270 $350 $80 $130 N/A N/A
Change $10 $20 Steady N/A
South West WA Price Range $180 $250 $450 $490 $100 $160 $80 $200
Change $40 Steady $20 Steady
North West Tasmania Price Range $160 $220 $220 $300 $100 $140 $140 $190
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady

Major Initiatives

Focus Farms

Dairy Australia has established a network of Focus Farms to support farmer decision making. Find out how Focus Farms looks at the factors impacting decisions at any point in time, including seasonal and market conditions.


DataGene is an independent and industry-owned organisation responsible for driving genetic gain and herd improvement in the Australian dairy industry and is an initiative of Dairy Australia and industry.

More Initiatives