Read about hay and its contribution to farm inputs and costs.
National background comments: report for the week ending 27th March, 2020.
The next update will be on Friday 3rd April, 2020. Direct links to reports on each dairy region immediately follow this national summary for hay.
While there is still green feed around, many of the regions are starting to dry out. South Australia, which has missed most of the rain, is very dry, and farmers are hoping for rains to come before they have to sow. Victoria, which had good growth for the time of year, has also started to dry out. As for NSW, while the north coast remains wet, much of the state is drying out.
Despite the drying conditions, demand for the most part remains quiet. We are still seeing demand come from central west NSW, and enquiry has started to pick up in southwest Victoria. The Goulburn Valley is receiving some of this enquiry, for other regions, all remains quiet.
Due to the previous rains, many farmers have irrigation water and have been able to irrigate crops sown during rain events. This should provide many farmers with feed despite drying conditions.
A lot of hay moved early in the season and haulage has slowed significantly. With verbal contracts continually being broken, there is more hay on the market. It has been reported that some farmers without shed space, are actively trying to move their hay, and have lowered their price. Some of this hay has lost colour. There was little change in the market for most regions this week with price changes only being noted in the Darling Downs, the Goulburn Valley and central West NSW.
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
After consistent rainfall demand has eased in northern Australia.
- Late summer crops have been sown in some parts of northern Australia and are being turned into hay.
- Supply of feed has been limited with a lot of hay being carted into the region from the southern parts of the nation; this is now slowing with current hay trucks delivering previously committed orders.
- There are reports of orders being cancelled due to the recent rains and the availability of green pick.
- Fires have affected some pasture and feed supplies in some regions.
- The Government is offering special assistance grants to those affected by the bushfires. For more information and to apply, please visit https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/special-disaster-grant-bushfires
Southern Australia - Summary
A lot of hay has been moving to the northern regions, but this has slowed.
- Yields have been good for many in the south, however hay making conditions has been difficult this season due to inclement weather.
- There were a lot of frost damaged crops that were turned into hay this season.
- Hay supplies have moved fast, and there is limited carryover from previous years.
- Fires have affected some pasture and feed supplies in the region and various charities are still active in the market recurring fodder to donate to these affected regions.
- The NSW Government is offering special assistance grants to those affected by the NSW bushfires. For more information and to apply, please visit https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/special-disaster-grant-bushfires
- The Victorian Government is offering support to those affected by the Gippsland bushfires. For more information on support available, and to apply, please visit http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/emergencies/recovery/current-incidents
Western Australia - Summary
Domestic demand is steady in southwest Western Australia.
- New season hay and straw has moved fast and is limited in supply. A lot of hay in the state is now committed.
- There is some new cereal hay on the market.
- With limited carryover from previous seasons and poor yields across the state, securing long-term, reliable sources of feed may still be an issue.
- Securing a good autumn break is still very much factoring in the minds of Western Australian growers, despite recent rains.
Price change in table below reflects moves since previous report (20th March, 2020)