Farm Tender

Farm Tender Hay Report - Shortage of Vetch plantings could impact

Shortage of Vetch plantings could impact


For the fortnight up to the 1st of June, 2021.


With the winter break not yet fully realised in the Hay growing areas of Victoria and South Australia, this may affect Vetch Hay supplies going forward. Not too often do we look this far out from a new Hay season, but with the popularity of Vetch Hay, it would be a concern for the industry if plantings fell right away.

A reliable Agronomist has informed me that the average break for the Wimmera Mallee region is the 23rd of May. So to get an average, we have to have some early breaks and, yes, some later ones too. This might be a later one, but the season is far far from done and dare I say, dusted just yet.

Good Crops of Vetch need to be planted earlier rather than later, and if rain doesn't happen in the next fortnight, Vetch might be an afterthought. This could be a disaster as Vetch is the Hay of choice for those chasing protein.

Current Vetch stocks have had the eyes picked out of them, and it's mainly lower grade, weather-damaged Vetch Hay that's still available. There will be stocks of good quality shedded Vetch Hay out there from the season before, but the current market prices on offer aren't anywhere near what they want. Therefore it would be easy to suggest that good quality Vetch Hay might be worth something decent if the dry continues or the new season stocks aren't there.

Vetch Hay has been a revolution over the last 20 years for both sellers and buyers alike. It's pushed Clover and Lucerne Hay aside to be the Hay choice of many for those chasing protein.

On a good note, the outlook from June to August looks positive for everyone except the Grain Growing areas of WA. WA has had such a good start so it would be a pity if the season fell away.


Take it how you see it, but if it comes true the season will be back on track for many in the South. Here's hoping, see below.



What's happened to Hay prices over the last fortnight?

Prices of $220 a tonne for 20/10/45 Vetch Hay is not enough to entice the real good stuff stored in sheds from the season before to enter the market. These Growers are waiting for more dollars on offer. The weather-damaged or partly mice affected Vetch Hay is the most readily available, with prices getting to $180 a tonne but starting at $125 a tonne for the worst of it.

Some good quality Medic/Lentil Hay made $180 a tonne, and a Clover Hay parcel got to $212 a tonne.

There has been more interest in Cereal Hay in the last fortnight than we have seen since the end of February 2020. Prices have probably lifted ever so slightly, with the top-selling lot being some good quality Oaten Hay for $160 a tonne, ex Riverina

We didn't shift much Straw in the last fortnight.


We go around the grounds to see what our Farm Tender Salespeople have to say:

Paul Grayling - Mallee, Vic based

Paul said - Over the past fortnight, we have seen good quality Vetch Hay shift. With Winter officially here, growth will drop off, but appetite's and production will not. Oaten Hay has also become a little more popular with perhaps more of this around the traps than what would be if China were still talking to us. Prices, I think, have hit the floor and will hold or even increase, albeit not by huge amounts. 


Shane Ruyg - Qld based

Shane said - Another positive fortnight of Hay sales with the weather coming in cold and conditions staying dry in the South. There is still lots of interest in Vetch Hay, and we are starting to see a bit more activity with Cereal Hay. Another factor with the Hay is the continuing of the mouse plague in NSW, with SA and VIC seeing a rise in numbers lately. This is obviously going to cause issues when it comes to quality. So make sure you're asking sellers if there is damage before committing to any Hay going forward.


Mike Pickard - Darling Downs, Qld based

Mike said - 65% of Queensland is still drought declared, even though there has been enough rain in places. Cropping areas in Northern New South Wales are in a good position for Winter Cropping, and grazing paddocks are green. There have been some spot loads of Hay sold throughout Queensland, mainly to Farmers just topping up on existing supplies to make sure they have enough moving through the Winter.


Jackie Elliott - South West, Vic based

Jackie said - Hay has been in conversation over the past week. Sellers are asking what price they should be putting on their Hay and what types of Hay are moving right now. We are selling mainly Vetch Hay, with buyers paying up to $210/mt from the Southern Mallee into SW Victoria.


Talk soon, EOM


Dwain Duxson - Farm Tender & DelayPay


For more information on selling or buying Hay contact the following:

Paul Grayling – 0447 069 082 or

Shane Ruyg – 0447 922 604 or

Mike Pickard – 0429 677 636 or

Jackie Elliott - 0400 808 550 or

Or 1300 Farming (1300 327 646)

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