Seasonal Update

The Goulburn Murray region is forecast to receive some light rainfall over the weekend. In light of the current weather patterns, demand for good quality roughage from cattle producers may be arrive earlier this season.

The region is still very green, and feed continues to grow. However, this growth is much slower now but continues to graze well.
Southwest Victoria have had a relatively dry week, reporting only light showers. Rain is forecast for the coming weekend. The region has only experienced a couple of light frosts thus far.

Hay and straw stacks are providing an ideal haven for mice during winter, numbers are building on farms between Culgoa and Elmore. Growers are implementing baiting programs to minimise the impact of mice on the quality of their hay.

Trading and Marketing


Enquiry for purchased feed is low, there is very little hay moving from the region compared to a two months ago. Many sheds are still full due to contracts in the north not being fulfilled.

Farmers in the local area are working on urea and spraying programs now for pasture crops.

Charlton in the Wimmera is having a great start to the season. The Southwest will benefit from this as this is one of the area’s they rely on for good quality cereal hay.

Local demand remains steady in Southwest Victoria. Some cereal/oaten hay has been delivered in from the Mallee over the past week. Very reduced demand at this stage as cattle farmers continue to be self-sufficient.

Winter demand for hay and straw from dairy farmers is also trickling along with loads moving from northern Victoria to Gippsland and the Murray Valley. Gippsland buyers normally buying vetch hay are buying wheaten hay for $275 a tonne from north central Victoria, growers further west and south are struggling to achieve these prices as they suffer a $20 to $50 a tonne freight disadvantage to the key markets further east and north.

Although it remains a buyer’s market, the right quality and contacts are proving effective tools for hay sellers this winter.

All prices in Victoria remain steady this week.

Change per t
Cereal hay +/- $0 $190-220 Steady
Lucerne hay +/- $0 $450-500 Steady
Straw +/- $0 $80-100 Steady
Pasture hay  +/- $0 $250-330 Steady

Western Australia

Southwest Western Australia has received some patchy rain with heavier falls closer to Esperance. The southern area continues far better than the top of the grain belt.

Hay crops have emerged and looking favourable at this stage in the south with conditions satisfactory.

Some export hay growers have increased plantings for new season hay. Given the right conditions and that it goes on to meet requirements there is a certainty that this extra hay will be snapped up for export.

Many are trying to get by with what feed they have as domestic prices are assumed to be too expensive. There is very little hay or straw left that is not spoken for in Western Australia. Straw, lucerne, and pasture is difficult to source.

Growers have been Turing new inquiries down as they don’t have sufficient supply.

No price changes in Western Australia this week.

Change per t
Cereal hay +/- $0 $320-370 Steady
Lucerne hay +/- $0 $450-490 Steady
Straw +/- $0 $120-140 Steady
Pasture hay  +/- $0 $200-220 Steady

South Australia

Southeast South Australia has reported no rain but will potentially see some over the weekend.

Farmers are now coming to the end of winter panting and everything is on track for a good season. The first of the crops are well and truly up and doing well.

Demand remains flat in southeast South Australia. There has been some nervous selling potentially feeling that any old and damaged stocks need to be moved before a flood of new season hay comes onto the market in the spring. Demand will creep up as it does for most areas when feed is needed to carry over stock during the cold months.

No price changes in South Australia this week.

Change per t
Cereal hay +/- $0 $270-300 Steady
Lucerne hay +/- $0 $380-500 Steady
Straw +/- $0 $100-140 Steady
Pasture hay  +/- $0 $200-250 Steady

Pictures of 20/19 Season Crops

Hay: Oaten Hay LPRD (Low Premium Rain Damage)

Specifications: Feels soft, moderate amount of weather damage spots & stains, sweet and fresh aroma, <1% Rye Grass, <1% Barley, JC-3 colour (70% Green) and JC-3 Super stem size (<10mm)

Location: ELMORE, VIC, 3558

2019/20 hay crops victoria


Sources: Bureau of Meteorology, Dairy Australia, WX Maps, Lachstock Research, Weekly Times, Grain Central, Mecardo Expert Market Analysis, Feed Central and Wingara AG.

By Katie Lindkvist, Wingara AG.