Farm Tender

Hay Report - The lowest projected Hay Harvest in 100 years. Ouch

For the fortnight up to the 26th of April 2022.


By Dwain Duxson


I came across this report about the Fodder situation in the US, where dry conditions are prevailing, which could lead to a pretty severe drought. Some say it's at that point now.




Magnetic Ag reports:

With insane fertiliser prices expected to depress the number of Corn acres planted this year, Beef Producers are likely to face higher (if that's even possible) Feed costs moving forward. 


But the problems don't stop with Grain finishing…


Forage frenzy: With ultra-high Hay prices plaguing producers, "shrinking supply" isn't exactly a friendly message. Yet, according to a recent USDA report, that's what's coming around the bend.


According to the report, the 2022 Hay harvest is projected to be down nearly 10M acres from the 2000-14 average.


Translation? The lowest projected supply in over 100 years. Ouch.


Input costs are an issue, but it's Mother Nature who's being a real stick in the mud/dust.


Water, water every nowhere: Lack of moisture is the problem (cue the broken record). Short-term lack of precipitation is intensifying the longer-term dry conditions, and the scarce snow-pack wouldn't even make a good snowball fight.


Mother Nature's stinginess also fueled the Texas wildfires, and Ranchers across the country responded with a Feed and Forage convoy to help out their fellow producers affected by the fires.


Where this goes: Hay demand and prices have stayed relatively steady across the plains, and Ranchers are hopeful rains will return. But Ben Beckman, a University of Nebraska extension educator, suggests planning for the worst: "If moisture remains limited, we can expect productivity from pastures to suffer. Drought plans should be implemented to reduce stocking rates and limit the potential for overgrazing."




Here, locally we haven't seen a great deal of change. If anything, there is a slight pick up in demand. The Autumn has been mild, and plenty have had a decent run with rainfall. For those feeding Stock, most have their own supplies they are using up first. 


Many in Victoria, SA and Southern NSW had what they consider a break after it had been dry for most of the Autumn. The average break for the Cropping areas of Victoria is around the 20th of May, so it's early this year, and it will help get Crops away and Pastures started. A follow-up looks likely for some at the end of this week. 


We have seen a bit more buying activity from Dairy Farmers, especially in the drier than usual areas like Western and Southern Gippsland and parts of South West Victoria and the South East of SA. 


There is some demand from Feedlotters in Northern NSW and Southern Queensland for Straw.


Also, a couple of reports out of South West Victoria saying that mice numbers are on the up.


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

Once again, Vetch Hay was the biggest selling variety of Hay for the fortnight. Prices have picked up a little, and the best quality stuff is making nearly $300 a tonne. The price is very dependent on quality and test. The prices range on Vetch Hay is as big as I can remember. 


We sold a bit of Clover Hay in the last fortnight. Like Vetch Hay, it's dependent on the quality and test. Prices are tracking similar to Vetch.


As mentioned above, Straw has a few more friends than previously.


There was no real move in the Cereal Hay market, and like everything, price is dependent on quality.


All prices quoted are ex GST and ex Farm.


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


Paul Grayling - Mallee, Vic based

Paul said - Over the last fortnight, there has been a slight rise in interest in the Hay job. We are seeing a few looking to fill the gap with Hay and Straw. With better quality Hay dominating the interest, also shedded Straw has seemed to be a bit more popular with people chasing fibre. 


There is still some reasonable stock out there, but it seems to be outnumbered by weather damaged lines, with most being priced accordingly. Hunting for the right product can be a little more time consuming than in previous years. 


Shane Ruyg - Qld based

Shane said - A busier fortnight on the Hay job with Cereal Hay and protein Hay popular and a few nibbles on Straw coming through. We are hearing that NSW and QLD are short on Hay stocks with feed/roughage, Hay/Straw, and there are some feedlots looking for some atm.


Mike Pickard - Travelling around 

Mike said - I have been on leave over the last fortnight, so I have been out of the loop a little. Back now, so I will have a more comprehensive report next time


End of message


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

Or 1300 Farming (1300 327 646)

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