Hay prices rise as supply dries up

FARMERS in Gippsland struggling to keep their livestock fed are facing higher hay prices as supply starts to decline across the state.
An unprecedented amount of Victorian hay has been going interstate this winter, as farmers in New South Wales and Queensland battle feed shortages and drought.
Farmers in East Gippsland are also facing feed shortages, following little rainfall in the first half of the year.
Cameron Brown from Browns Stockfeed in Leongatha said there has been a lot of hay coming into Gippsland for the last eight or nine months.
He said they have been taking hay as far east as Orbost, as well as quite a bit into the dairying region around Maffra and all through South Gippsland.
“Some farms probably didn’t make as much hay and silage as normal and because of the dry autumn they are now short of grass,” he said.
“Everyone is short of grass, there just hasn’t been enough rain.”
Mr Brown said both beef and dairy farms have been in need of additional hay this season.
While demand for hay in South Gippsland had eased slightly on the back of winter rainfall, Mr Brown said for farmers east of Toora, rain had been scarce.
“We are selling a lot more than this time last year and it is now getting pretty hard to buy northern hay,” he said.
“Victoria had a really good hay year, but a lot of it has gone into New South Wales and Queensland. This interstate demand has pushed prices up and exhausted stocks.
“I haven’t seen supply this short this early in the year before, it usually lasts until at least September or October.”
Mr Brown said prices for alternative fibre sources, such as palm kernel meal and almond hulls, had also increased.
“They are hard to buy and dear, so it is just one of those years,” he said.
At current demand levels, Mr Brown said Browns Stockfeed had enough hay to last until around the end of September.
“Demand is coming from Yarram, Maffra and East Gippsland,” he said.
“Farmers there are short of grass, it is really dry and there is not a lot of rain on the horizon. At the moment, South Gippsland farmers are reasonably happy.”
Mr Brown said much of the state will be relying on decent spring rain to ensure a good hay and silage season.
“The grain and hay areas will need good rain to ensure a decent crop. It is a bit dry up in those areas at the moment,” he said.
“As long as they get reasonable spring rain, it shouldn’t be too bad.”

Feed need: Cameron Brown from Browns Stockfeed said supply of hay from northern Victoria is drying up, forcing prices higher than normal for this time of year.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25463

Posted by on Jul 24 2018. Filed under Featured, Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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