Seasonal Update

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

Last Week's Rainfall - 16.11.2020

Figure 2: BoM 8-Day Rainfall Forecast

8-Day Rainfall Forecast -16.11.2020

Figure 3: BOM-Australian Landscape Water Balance

BOM-Australian Landscape Water Balance - 16.11.2020.jpg


Figure 4: Precipitation Outlook

WX Maps Precipitation Outlook - 16.11.2020

Trading and Marketing

Cereal Hay Values Into the Goulburn Valley 16.11.2020.jpg.png.jpg


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.

Change per t
Cereal hay +/- $0 $190-220 Steady
Lucerne hay +/- $0 $450-500 Steady
Straw +/- $0 $70-100 Steady
Pasture hay  +/- $0 $250-330 Steady

Western Australia

Crops around South West WA have yielded from 4-9/tonnes. Reports indicate that top-quality export hay is around $270-$290/tonne on farm and $200-$250/tonne for downgraded hay. Demand looks likely to remain slow until new season hay is available, with the majority destined for export markets. Export continues to dominate the market and gives the best price indication.

Prices remained steady this week.

Change per t
Cereal hay +/- $0 $330-370 Steady
Lucerne hay +/- $0 $450-490 Steady
Straw +/- $0 $120-140 Steady
Pasture hay  +/- $0 $200-220 Steady

South Australia

First-cut lucerne, around South East SA is currently in bale, is looking good with minimal weather damage. Rain has been beneficial for other feed, including clover and fescue. Prices remain unchanged once again.

All prices remained steady this week.

Change per t
Cereal hay +/- $0 $220-250 Steady
Lucerne hay +/- $0 $330-350 Steady
Straw +/- $0 $100-120 Steady
Pasture hay +/- $0 $180-200 Steady


Pictures of 20/21 Season Crops

Hay: Oaten Hay JC-2 (Oaten Hay P1), Brusher Variety

Specifications: Crunching soft & prickly, minimal weather spots or stains, fresh & sweet aroma, <1% Rye Grass, JC-2 colour (75% Green) and JC-1 stem size (<6mm), Water Soluble Carbohydrates 24.2%.

Estimated yield of 5.5mt/ha, soil moisture was dry, seeding date 10/5/2020, cutting date 19/10/2020, baling date 2/11/2020. Inspected 22/10/2020.

Location: Gladfield, Victoria 3575

20-21 Season Hay - Gladfield, Victoria 3575

Sources: Bureau of Meteorology, Dairy Australia, WX Maps, Lachstock Research, Weekly Times, Grain Central, Mecardo Expert Market Analysis, AFIA (Australian Fodder Industry Association) & Feed Central.

By Katie Lindkvist, Wingara AG.