Farm Tender

The Farm Tender Hay Report – It's a sit and wait game

  • By: "Prime" Ag News
  • Water & Irrigation News
  • Jun 02, 2020
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It's a sit and wait game.

For the fortnight up to the 3rd of June, 2020.

As we move into Winter, the expectation would be for demand to pick up for Hay and Straw. This year I'm not sure that's the case.

Hay production has changed over the last five or so years. Cutting Crops for Hay has been a viable option for Croppers when frost and cut-off Springs have put Grain production at risk. Some Croppers have transitioned to fully-fledged Hay producers.

However, unlike Grain, which can always be sold somewhere at a price, Hay is very different. When demand dries up (like now), we just can't go and sell into the marketplace and any old price. If there is no demand, it has to stay put. That's where selling Hay differs from selling Grain.

The domestic Hay market is either feast or famine, so making Hay to on-sell is something that requires a plan and plenty of patience. The most successful Grain Growers are the ones that don't have to sell when everyone else is. They have ample storage options and can market their Grain when they want. As explained above, the Hay market is different, so the tactics need to be different. Yes, you do need the storage capabilities, but then it becomes a sit and wait game.

For the upcoming Hay season, if the sheds are still full from the year previous, Farmers will react and look to make individual decisions that suit their own operations. So predicting Hay production will be a nightmare, especially if the season turns out ok.

We live in Australia, the land of droughts and flooding rains, so one thing is for sure, demand for Hay at a domestic level will rise again.

As a buyer of Hay, the cheapest Hay you will buy is before the next period of high demand. But good luck predicting that......

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

Cereal Hay is making around the $200/mt mark.

The very best Vetch Hay is selling for $300/mt, any deviation in quality means the price reduces.

Most Straw is selling for around $80/mt, and any Straw that is shedded they are looking for around $20/mt extra

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

Mike Pickard - Darling Downs based
Mike said - It's turning dry again in Western and North Western Queensland due to a below-average wet season, Cattle have either been put on Agistment or sold to Farmers in New South Wales where the season has picked up decreasing the demand for Hay in those areas. Demand could pick up across the Darling Downs as it gets colder, though demand will not be the same as it was at the end of last year and earlier this year. Some Hay buyers have some reasonable stocks around them across the Darling Downs. I sold a couple of good parcels of Lucerne Hay from Gippsland to Tasmania and the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales.

Jackie Elliott - South West Vic based
Jackie said - From what I have heard from the sales team it was less than six months ago that Hay and Straw sales kept them extremely busy and to think this time last year you couldn’t find a bale of straw in the South West of Victoria. Now it's very different, winter is settling in, this may prompt interest in Hay and Straw requirements for Cattle producers. It will be interesting to see if Dairy producers secure feed requirements with the release of the opening milk prices.

Paul Grayling - Mallee Vic based
Paul said - Well after yesterday its safe to say that Winter is here! We have noticed a bit of a lift in enquiry on Hay, Mainly Protein Hay, but also on Oaten Hay. While pricing is well back on where it was pre rain, it currently sits at a much more sustainable price for buyers. Roughly $200/mt for Cereals and around $300/mt for Vetch. Quality and location are determining factors in the rise and or fall of those figures. If you have Hay on the site make sure your pricing is up to date and good luck.

Shane Ruyg - Queensland based
Shane said - A quiet couple of weeks on the Hay job again but seeing more enquiry and more sales. The weather has got cold down South, so we should see more action in the coming weeks. There are still plenty of sellers trying to offload what they have which is putting downward pressure on the pricing. So it's a good time for the buyers to purchase Hay and Straw for Winter.

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
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