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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 22th September, 2017

The next update will be on Friday 6th October 2017. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national hay summary.

A subdued hay market was reported this week as growers focus on cutting silage and hay. In many regions cutting silage and hay commenced earlier than expected this season due to warm weather and limited rain. Great variability exists in terms of spring rainfall and the subsequent success of winter crops across Australia.

Generally speaking, northern regions are the driest, but in recent weeks some fresh cereal hay eased demand and limited fodder freighted from southern regions. The south provides a more positive harvest outlook and another bumper harvest is forecast in several areas.

There continues to be an oversupply of feed in southern regions and even with price easing in the past fortnight little market exists for last season hay. Most farmers continue to search for quality and are considering the long term outcome on animal output.

Northern Australia - Summary

  • Prices remain steady this week after previous price easing.
  • Following last week’s price ease some growers reenter the market, however reports indicate a large portion of this feed was purchased straight off paddocks.
  • With more feed available in New South Wales and Queensland, buying eased from southern regions.
  • Reports suggest demand will exceed supply in the north this season.
  • Lack of significant rainfall put pressure on farmers in the region with limited pasture.
  • Lucerne and straw are particularly scarce. Most quality protein hay can fetch over $400/tonnes if found.
  • We suggest caution when purchasing fodder at the moment, particularly protein hay, as there is a great deal of variability traded.

Southern Australia - Summary

  • Great variability exists between crops but generally speaking the region will produce more than enough hay this season.
  • It’s too early to predict whether this season will see a lift in quality and fetch greater prices.
  • A great deal of hay will overflow from last season as there is little demand for poorer quality feed.
  • A wet August and start to September revived many late crops in southern Victoria and South Australia.
  • Tasmania and southern New South Wales have been hit with bad frosts and little rainfall which puts pressure on crops.

Western Australia - Summary

  • There were no major changes to hay prices this week.
  • Hay trading continued at a steady pace but limited demand exists for much of the region.
  • The level of demand and optimism for the coming season varies from farmer to farmer.
  • Rainfall has been the key factor for the success of farmers and hay growers in the past months. More rain is needed in coming weeks to secure a reasonable production outcome.
  • The export industry dominates the Western Australian market and is a solid indicator on pricing.

22-September-2017 Hay
Cereal Lucerne Straw Pasture
Atherton Tablelands Price Range N/A N/A N/A $280 $320
Change Steady
Darling Downs Price Range $270 $350 $400 $450 $200 $240 $250 $300
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
North Coast NSW Price Range $300 $350 $380 $450 $200 $240 $250 $280
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Central West NSW Price Range $140 $180 $250 $330 $110 $130 $150 $170
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Bega Valley Price Range $190 $230 $320 $350 $120 $150 $180 $210
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
Goulburn / Murray Valley Price Range $80 $120 $230 $260 $90 $100 N/A N/A
Change Steady Steady Steady N/A
Gippsland Price Range $140 $210 $290 $320 $130 $160 $120 $190
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South West Victoria Price Range $110 $190 $260 $290 $110 $130 $110 $160
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South East South Australia Price Range $90 $140 $240 $300 $90 $120 $120 $150
Change Steady $25 Steady $65
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 $140 $180 $450 $490 $100 $130 $150 $200
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
North West Tasmania Price Range $160 $220 $250 $320 $100 $140 $140 $190
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady

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