Farm Tender

The Farm Tender Hay Report - Hay is cheap but grass is cheaper....

Hay is cheap but grass is cheaper....

For the fortnight up to the 13th of January 2021.

Firstly here's wishing all our Hay Report readers a Happy New and here's hoping 2021 is a ripper.

It's been nearly a month since our last report, and not much has changed except that we have had more rain, which has meant' more grass. The Weaner sales are reaching giddy heights, and I guess they are not buying them flat out because Hay is cheap. More so because grass is cheaper and there is plenty of it in places. I am told the Tamworth area is having a season like no other.

Just because Hay is cheap doesn't mean that anyone will buy any, that's where I guess the domestic Hay market differs from the domestic Grain market. Grain, although it fluctuates has a 365 day of the year demand cycle.

A Farmer mentioned to me just recently that "you tend to get rain when it's not expected in La Nina times, but when the opposite occurs (El Nino) the forecast rains never arrive." In 2006 (El Nino year), I remember the BOM forecasting a Spring rain event that was going to save the Crops and Pastures that amounted to nothing and everyone knew the season was over at that point.

The domestic Hay market has grown over the last five years, but that growth might level out when the next dry period comes around. As mentioned in the column, many Farmers in NSW and Qld who went through the most recent drought don't intend to get caught again buying expensive Hay from the deep South. For that reason, we think there will be more "rainy day" Hay stored on Farm. We believe this will affect the demand for Hay come the next dry period. In saying that, the Australian climate has a way of catching us with our pants down on occasions, so we shouldn't assume.

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

Looking back at this time last year, we were selling Cereal Hay for $250/mt-$300/mt; today it's discounted to about half of that. Vetch Hay was $300/mt plus, and today you can buy it in a range of $150/mt to $200/mt, depending on the quality. Straw was selling for $120/mt to $140/mt this time last year. Apart from the demand for Straw into a few select Queensland Feedlots (as Mike mentions below), you really can't give Straw away right now.
Lucerne Hay off irrigation is selling for $300/mt today as opposed to $500/mt and up to $600/mt this time last year.

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

Paul Grayling - Mallee, Vic based

Paul said - Things seem to be slow and not so steady with the Hay Job; There are quite a few still getting feed tests which is imperative this year. Pricing has seemed to have remained the same if anything some keen sellers have been willing to drop even more in the hope of encouraging a few buyers. If Shed space permits it could be a good time to put a bit away..

Shane Ruyg - Queensland based

Shane said - Just returned from annual leave and still getting my head around where the Hay market is currently. Speaking with a few clients and there is still a bit of interest in Vetch Hay an also Straw for up in the QLD area, but apart from that, it's still reasonably quiet.

Mike Pickard - Darling Downs, Qld based

Mike said - Good rain across Queensland and Northern New South Wales has allowed Farmers to get Summer Crops in. Some rivers are running, but the dams are taking longer to fill. Several Feedlots across the Darling Downs are chasing large amounts of good quality Straw and Hay. They are managing to source it as locally as they can. Buyers are able to source Straw from around the Moree, Mungindi, and the Goondiwindi districts for $100/mt. Some areas that were dry before Christmas and purchasing Hay e.g. around the Longreach, Barcaldine districts North-Western Qld, have now received upwards of around 200 mm in places. In the south, Organic Lucerne Hay selling in South Australia for around $255 per tonne Ex farm, but in small quantities only. We also see smaller parcels of Vetch Hay selling around that $220 mark in New South Wales.

Jackie Elliott - South West, Vic based

Jackie said - The past couple of weeks has seen generous rainfall across South West Victoria, that has seen Summer Crop growth and a continuous feed supply. With the warm weather ahead it will be interesting to see if interest in Fodder picks up.

Talk soon

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

Murray Jones (WA only) - 0474 808 160 or

Or 1300 Farming (1300 327 646)

Need to buy something? Try DelayPay

Payment terms for buyers and a spendable credit limit in 24 hours, go to If you are keen to know more ring Kelsey 0409 117 730 or Dwain 0427 011 900



**List your Sheep, Cattle, Rams, Bulls or other Livestock on our new Farm Tender Livestock Exchange (powered by Farm Tender). From 1% commission if you sell. Reach between 8000 - 10,000 potential customers per day. Contact our Livestock Marketing team in Hannah Anderson on 0429 479 072 or Bruce Watson 0427 514 248  for more information. Like our new Facebook page here.