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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 24th January, 2020.

The next update will be on Friday 31st January, 2020. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national summary for hay.

Rain fell last week throughout much of the nation. The Atherton Tablelands, the Darling Downs, and north coast NSW all had high rainfall. In central west NSW, Bega, the Goulburn Valley, and Gippsland, rainfall was patchy and much more is needed in parts of these regions. While there was some good rainfall across the country, follow-up rainfall is needed.

Following last weeks rainfall, there is a green tinge in the Atherton Tablelands, the Darling Downs, north coast NSW, as well as in parts of central west NSW, Bega, and Gippsland. As a result of the increased soil mosisture, some farmers in the Atherton Tablelands, the Darling Downs, and north coast NSW are sowing crops.

While demand remains strong in parts of the coutry, demand has eased in the Atherton Tablelands, the Darling Downs, and north coast NSW this week. There is plenty of hay moving from the southern regions to the northern regions. In some cases, demand is coming in faster than trucks are able to move supplies.

As hay continues to move fast, it is becoming increasingly difficult to source. In some regions a lot of the higher-grade hay has now moved, and there is now a larger proportion of low-grade hay on the market.

Cereal hay prices have firmed this week in all eastern regions of mainland Australia except for Victoria. Straw prices have firmed in the Goulburn Valley, central South Australia, and southwest Western Australia.

There is a lot of hay being 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 the feed.

Northern Australia - Summary

  • There was little hay made this season and many crops failed. Supply of feed is limited with a lot of hay being carted into the region from the southern parts of the nation.
  • Local hay supplies have moved fast and there are limited supplies left.
  • Fires have affected some pasture and feed supplies in the region. Getting fodder into some parts of the region requires police escort.
  • Securing long term, reliable supplies of quality hay may well be an issue for the north as the year progresses with demand expected to be greater than supply.
  • Late summer rains have moistened soils in parts of the region and provided a green tinge.
  • Late summer crops are being sown in parts of northern Australia.
  • The Government continues to offer subsidies for transport of fodder, moving livestock and water infrastructure to support eligible farmers in NSW affected by drought. This can be backdated to 1st January 2018. For more information and to apply please visit https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub

Southern Australia - Summary

  • Last season’s hay is limited in supply and there is little carryover from previous years.
  • There were a lot of frost damaged crops that were turned into hay this season.
  • There is a lot of hay moving to the northern regions.
  • There is hay on the market that has been rained on in parts of southern Australia which has varying degrees of weather damage.
  • Despite difficult hay making conditions, some regions in the south have had good yields this year.
  • Fires have affected some pasture and feed supplies in the region. Getting fodder into some parts of the region requires police escort.
  • The Government continues to offer subsidies for transport of fodder, moving livestock and water infrastructure to support eligible farmers in NSW affected by drought. This can be backdated to 1st January 2018. For more information and to apply please visit https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub  

Western Australia - Summary

  • Cereal hay making is finished for the season and yields are low across the state.
  • New season straw continues to be made in Western Australia although yields are poor.
  • With limited carryover from previous seasons and poor yields across the state, securing long-term, reliable sources of feed may be an issue.
  • Hay has moved fast and is increasingly difficult to source.
  • 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.

     

Price change in table below reflects moves since previous report (17th January, 2020)

24-January-2020 Hay
Cereal Lucerne Straw Pasture
Atherton Tablelands Price Range N/A N/A N/A $400 $440
Change Steady
Darling Downs Price Range $490 $550 $700 $750 $320 $380 $440 $460
Change $20 Steady Steady Steady
North Coast NSW Price Range $500 $550 $600 $700 $270 $330 $420 $450
Change $50 Steady Steady -$10
Central West NSW Price Range $390 $440 $650 $700 $240 $280 $430 $500
Change $15 $25 Steady $15
Bega Valley Price Range $450 $500 $650 $700 $250 $300 $400 $500
Change $55 Steady Steady Steady
Goulburn / Murray Valley Price Range $320 $380 $680 $800 $150 $190 $360 $390
Change $20 $40 $25 $20
Gippsland Price Range $350 $400 $550 $650 $190 $230 $250 $350
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South West Victoria Price Range $300 $350 $480 $550 $160 $170 $240 $270
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady
South East South Australia Price Range $270 $340 $470 $550 $140 $190 $270 $350
Change $10 $30 Steady -$40
Central Districts SA Price Range $290 $370 $570 $650 $160 $200 N/A N/A
Change $15 Steady $10 N/A
South West WA Price Range $320 $380 $450 $490 $130 $160 $260 $300
Change Steady Steady $10 $20
North West Tasmania Price Range $310 $330 $370 $400 $80 $130 $270 $290
Change Steady Steady Steady Steady

Initiatives

Our Farm, Our Plan

Our Farm, Our Plan is a new program designed to equip farmers to clarify their long term goals, identify the actions needed and to manage uncertainty and risk.

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.

More Initiatives