Farm Tender

The Farm Tender Hay Report - Uncertainty heading forward

Uncertainty heading forward.

For the fortnight up to the 20th of October 2020.

It's frustrating times for those out there trying to make Hay and Silage. Before our eyes, the 2020 Hay vintage is deteriorating, and it doesn't look like conditions will improve. 

Therefore, this current season is full of uncertainty with a strong rain event forecast for the Eastern States towards the end of this week, into the weekend. 

Farmers and Contractor are saying that there is plenty of the Hay out there weather damaged to some level. 

Contractors are saying they are way behind already. Farmers who have already booked Contractors are finding they are now going to be late. 

One Farmer who has Vetch down in the Victorian Mallee has had four lots of 10, 12, 18 and 15 millimetres of rain on his windrows. He said cosmetically, it looks ordinary and he is not expecting the test result to come back great. It's still not in the bale.

Paul mentions below that some have given up on their cut Vetch Hay already and put the Sheep in. 

We should see a lift in the rating of good quality old season Hay that is shedded. However, some of the early baled Vetch Hay managed to miss any weather damage. But when you boil it down, it comes back to demand, or lack thereof it. The buyers that are out there are in casual mode; they don't really have to make decisions immediately, they can pick, choose and negotiate harder than normal. 

Macerators and Super Conditioners are being used extensively to help fast track the curing process. Some have headed down the Silage path instead, and Hay additives have been popular to try and improve quality. 

Rotary and Tedder Hay Rakes have been in great demand throughout the lead up to the Hay year. Anything that can improve quality, or speed up the process is being looked at. 

Concerns are for the quality of the Export Hay Crop. Any drop in quality opens up opportunities for other Hay making countries take market share with a superior product.

Virtually all of the Export Hay in WA has been cut. Yields differ from paddock to paddock, but overall it's probably been better than was predicted. 

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

Old season Cereal Hay prices are in and around $150/mt, with new season Cereal Hay about to come onto the market. 

Vetch Hay prices have flatlined at around the $200/mt for the new season. That is for the stuff that is not weather damaged. We are yet to get a feel of what weather damaged Vetch will make. It may be hard to sell at any price, and it will depend on the level of damage. The good quality old season Vetch Hay that is shedded now comes into play.

Unless you have a ready-made market, it wouldn't be worth doing Straw this coming Harvest

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

Paul Grayling - Mallee Vic based

Paul said - We are hearing some average stories re people putting Sheep into paddocks as windrows are starting to turn black. There will no doubt be a fair bit of rain effected new season Hay around so it will be interesting to see what happens with export options and downgrades. It could quite possibly put a few more dollars on old season Hay. Vetch has been the only seller so far, mainly as its the first to hit the bale. Buyers, unfortunately, are more scarce than rain, (haven't been able to say that in a very long time). There are still some suitable early pressed parcels of Vetch Hay around. We are staring into a lot of unknown territory as far as pricing and quality go. Watch this space

Shane Ruyg - Queensland based

Shane said - We are seeing more Vetch Hay and some Cereal Hay coming on the market. Feed tests which are going to be important this year.

The word is that there will be a bit of dark, mouldy and downgraded Hay around this season. Still not too much demand for Hay in general, but we are selling the odd load here an there for a few Dairies down south.

Mike Pickard - Darling Downs based

Mike said - Harvest is underway with the crop coming in 2 to 3 weeks early. In Queensland yields south of St George are below average, with yields west of Goondiwindi looking to be about average to slightly above in places. Further east on the inner Darling Downs, Crops are still two or three weeks away but are looking reasonably good. The first Train load of Wheat is arriving in Brisbane today from the Darling Downs, this being the first train since 2016

There is a fair bit of Hay in Northern New South Wales, especially around the Gunnedah/Narrabri region. Sellers are willing to meet the market to get rid of surplus supplies.

There is quite a substantial weather event forecast for the end of this week for Queensland and Northern New South Wales and even further down. They are forecasting severe storms and substantial rain through until about Monday of next week.

Jackie Elliott - South West Vic based

Jackie said - With the good season in South West Victoria, there is plenty of fodder on offer, and opportunities to source reasonably priced Hay to store and use when required. 

The wet paddocks are pushing Silage production out in the South West of Victoria. The window of opportunity to cut and bale is limited. This affects quality.

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 [email protected]

Shane Ruyg – 0447 922 604 or [email protected]

Mike Pickard – 0429 677 636 or [email protected]

Jackie Elliott - 0400 808 550 or [email protected]

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



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