Hay and Silage

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - FRONT PAGE -

A LEAD­ING Aus­tralian feed trader has de­bunked claims that the hay mar­ket is in de­cline.

Feed Cen­tral man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Tim Ford said de­mand for hay re­mains strong and good qual­ity prod­uct will con­tinue to fetch good prices.

“Ev­ery­one’s talk­ing about there be­ing a big hay crop and talk­ing the mar­ket down, but right now there is strong de­mand for hay and short­age of qual­ity prod­uct,” he said.

“We’re now in the mar­ket look­ing for prod­uct to meet that de­mand.”

Mr Ford said last year’s drought, low stock­piles in hay sheds, dif­fi­cul­ties in ac­cess­ing some sup­plies due to wet weather, and strong de­mand from the beef sec­tor and ex­ports had com­bined to keep the mar­ket strong.

“Some are talk­ing the mar­ket down but we have an al­ter­na­tive view – right now there is a short­age and we have buy­ers,” Mr Ford said.

“There has been strong de­mand all win­ter and we need prod­uct now.”

Mr Ford said the cold and wet win­ter across Aus­tralia had been good for trade but could lead to ac­cess and qual­ity prob­lems.

“It has been a good grow­ing sea­son but there have been prob­lems with cat­tle get­ting on the pad­docks and bog­ging pad­docks, which leads to strong de­mand for hay.

“Ev­ery hayshed in the coun­try is empty and there’s no carry-over of stock, but cus­tomers still want prod­uct.”

Mr Ford said many grow­ers had been un­able to ap­ply fer­tiliser due to the wet weather and wa­ter­log­ging could also af­fect fu­ture yields, how­ever, de­mand re­mains strong.

“The beef mar­ket is very strong with an in­creased de­mand for hay and at some point the dairy in­dus­try will re­cover,” he said.

He added that pre­dic­tions of lower prices re­flected an une­d­u­cated view of the mar­ket.

“I think the price will come back in the new sea­son.

“The fun­da­men­tal re­quire­ments for new-sea­son prod­uct re­main the same; easy all-weather ac­cess to a good qual­ity prod­uct with min­i­mal weather dam­age in a heavy large square bale and shed­ded over mul­ti­ple months.”

Mr Ford said there was a risk of a lot of poor qual­ity hay be­cause of the wet con­di­tions but good grow­ers would get good re­turns.

“The pro­fes­sional grower who makes good qual­ity hay should and will be re­warded for their ef­forts and get very good re­turns,” he said.

The ex­port mar­ket re­mains strong and the sig­nif­i­cant price set­ter, par­tic­u­larly in Vic­to­ria.

Mr Ford said that if the ex­port hay mar­ket sets the price above $200 a tonne, do­mes­tic grow­ers would be happy with a dis­count off that while main­tain­ing good prices.

“There’s no need to give it away,” he added.

“Good qual­ity hay will sell first and sell for good money and there are or­ders right now for im­me­di­ate de­liv­ery.”

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www. feed­cen­tral.com.au.

QUAL­ITY HAY: There is strong de­mand for good qual­ity hay to meet the mar­ket’s re­quire­ments.

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