Growers have been ‘making hay while the sun shines’ over the past fortnight, with a gradual easing of damp conditions. Those with later crops in Northern Vic and southern NSW have come out damage-free.
The Goulburn Murray Valley region received 5-10mm of rain this week. The boon of higher yields has been tempered by weather damage for many growers. Warmer, dryer weather as summer approaches looks promising for those who want to take a second cut of silage.
The Mallee and the Wimmera have had the worst time of it. Storms came across the region this week and there is some indication that up to 90% of all hay has been weather damaged with the season all but over.
Gippsland enjoyed a dryer spell after some weeks of rain. Growers still have not been able to get onto paddocks due to wet weather, however.
Overall, growers in South West WA will likely be pleased with how their season has ended. Despite a tricky start, conditions have come around nicely, and some well-timed rain finished off crops nicely. Yields are likely to be below average in the east due to reduced rainfall, but quality is there.
After a run of nearly two weeks of dry weather for hay making in South East SA, storms have threatened to damage portions of the crop. Some growers will come away better than others.
Figure 1: Last Week’s Rainfall
Figure 2: BoM 8-Day Rainfall Forecast
Figure 3: BOM-Australian Landscape Water Balance
Figure 4: Precipitation Outlook
Trading and Marketing
|Growers in Goulburn Murray Valley region still have last season’s hay in storage, hampering demand for new product.
Much of the most severely damaged hay has been mulched rather than attempting to bale it around South West Victoria Good quality new season hay is being moved to farm storage at this stage. Vetch is being feed tested currently. Product with 20% or higher protein content is being priced at around $190/tonne on farm.
Round and pit silage are abundant in the Gippsland region. Corn plantings may not happen in southern Gippsland this year due to the ongoing wet weather and delays in the getting pastures off. Vetch prices vary significantly Quality, undamaged product is commanding $200-$210/tonne on farm, whereas weather-damaged crop can be found as low as $140/tonne. All prices remained steady this week.