Farm Tender

The Farm Tender Hay Report – August a Crucial Month

  • By: "Prime" Ag News
  • Water & Irrigation News
  • Jul 28, 2020
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August a Crucial Month

For the fortnight up to the 28th of July, 2020.

I went for a "Crop inspection" through one of the key Hay growing areas in Victoria, the Wimmera/Mallee, two weekends ago now. What I saw was plenty of potential, however since then a lack of rain and frost has Farmers slightly concerned. Some areas are in better shape than others and rain will fix any current shortfalls.

August will be a critical month.

Let's be positive and think that rain is on the way in the first or second week of August, the ones that require it most will get it and continue to look good.

I think I mentioned in another report that this season Grain Farmers are going to want to be Harvesting Grain and not cutting Crops for Hay.  Simply put, economics is telling us there is more chance of making a quid out of Grain over Hay.

The wet winter promised for by the BOM for VIC and SA hasn't eventuated, but let's hope it comes in August.  Most of NSW is going along pretty good and Farmers are looking to make some Hay themselves instead of buying stuff in as they have previously. The number of Balers, Rakes and Mower Conditioners we have sold into NSW is telling us that they want to be more self-sufficient going forward.

Shane mentioned that some would be cutting Vetch Hay in 3 to 4 weeks in the Mallee.  Mike made an interesting point that in QLD he is hearing that Feedlot numbers are back as much as 50 percent due to the cost to buy in replacement Cattle. This affects demand.

In WA, the report is that Hay and Straw are hard to come by, but the prospects have improved as far as rainfall is concerned, and they are looking at a pretty good export Hay season ahead. Export dominates the Hay market in WA. SA is quite patchy, with some areas good, and some not so.

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

Broken record here, the Cereal Hay price is under $200/mt.

Lucerne Hay has its followers and has been selling from $420/mt to $450/mt. Vetch Hay is now selling at $300/mt and under.

Straw is low on the priority list and selling for as little as $50/mt

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

Paul Grayling - Mallee Vic based
Paul said - We aren't seeing too much action on the Hay Job. There is plenty of talk about new season Hay, with a few areas needing a drink to carry through with some decent sized crops, the next few weeks will give a good indication of how much will be around and the quality. We are expecting new season pricing to be sharper than the current money, how much will be somewhat determined by quantity and quality.

Shane Ruyg - Queensland based
Shane said - Another fortnight has passed and the Hay/Feed job is still not where most would like it. In the last fortnight, I have sold four lots of Vetch Hay and a parcel of Oaten Hay with no sales of Straw at all. In our busy times, we would have sold this in a single morning period!. With the new season upon us, and the likelihood of fresh Hay being cut in the next 3-4 weeks time, it spells for very interesting times ahead.

Jackie Elliott - South West Vic based
Jackie said - Again, with not much to report, things are looking great in the South West of Victoria with little to no Hay requirements as the grass continues to grow. We are seeing alot of investment in Sheds as Hay Farmers realise how important it is to protect the quality.

Mike Pickard - Darling Downs based
Mike said - There has been a minimal amount of Hay sales over the last couple of weeks. Hay is still being transported into Western Queensland for winter feed, but not in huge quantities. There is a bit of a downturn in the feedlot industry, with some yards running around the 50 percent mark. This is mainly due to the high buy-in cost of Cattle at the moment, so fewer Cattle means less Hay needed.

Hannah Anderson - Central Vic based
Hannah said - As the guys have reported above, the Hay job is pretty quiet. I have a couple of Hay suppliers who do an excellent job, that are looking for long-term contracts with Feedlots. We can also offer terms. Give us a yell if you are looking for something specific that's ongoing.

Catch you in a fortnight..

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
Hannah Anderson - 0429 479 072 or
Or 1300 Farming (1300 327 646)

Need to buy something? Try DelayPay

Get payment terms for buyers and payment security for sellers - If you are keen to know more ring Kelsey 0409 117 730 or Dwain 0427 011 900