Southern regions have been buoyed by late August rainfall, with Dairy Australia pointing to an improved prospect for hay harvests as a result.
The organisation’s hay report said while hay trading was subdued across much of Australia as farmers assessed the full potential of the coming seasons, growers were preparing for the season.
‘‘While there are signs suggesting northern regions will produce less hay this year, the lack of rainfall is yet to prompt buyers to secure large volumes of fodder,’’ the report said.
‘‘In recent weeks there has been a notable increase in poorer quality feed traded as growers — particularly in the south — make room in sheds for new-season feed.
‘‘In stark contrast to the north, southern growers are expecting another year of oversupply with most farmers still reporting good levels of supply.’’
Wet weather across Victoria has left plenty of water on the ground but the report said farmers were still uncertain about whether the coming season would produce better quality hay than last year.
‘‘Growers are hoping for an uninterrupted harvest to ensure better quality and subsequently higher prices,’’ the report said.
‘‘With the variability in feed available at the moment, we continue to advocate for careful inspection of fodder before purchase.’’
Across the Goulburn and Murray valleys prices have remained largely steady with lucerne hay $230 to $260/tonne despite limited stock, while cereal hay has firmed in recent weeks, receiving a bump of $10/tonne to be between $90 and $120/tonne.
Dairy Australia said cereal hay was the most in demand type for farmers continuing to look for fibre, yet suggested dairy farmers in the region will look to cover their own feed requirements as much as possible this season.