Frosty and cold weather sees hay in hot demand
Southern growers field calls from northerners
FIVE weeks without rain, combined with cold and frosty conditions, has meant hay sellers are starting to field more calls from buyers.
The blocking high-pressure cells over southern Australia have restricted rainfall over the past two months.
Although the El Nino weather pattern has been degraded to neutral status, it appears other factors are influencing the weather, leading to the dry spell.
The rainfall figures for June confirm the extent of the worst affected areas.
An area extending from Ballarat to Deniliquin across to Canberra and south to Rosedale in Gippsland has experienced one of the driest Junes on record.
This same area has experienced below zero temperatures in the past week.
Towns that received 2mm of rain in June include Kyabram, Yarrawonga, Deniliquin and Wagga Wagga.
Accordingly, paddocks are drying out and limiting pasture production, with the impact of the dry slowly progressing from the north.
Sellers are receiving calls from graziers in Queensland but few are prepared to travel such a distance to unknown buyers.
Other sellers have been reluctant to offer hay to Queensland buyers as their bale weights are less than 570kg and they would fail to meet the freight efficiencies needed to make the transaction commercial.
Other more local calls are periods of demand they can remember.
Sellers are not convinced the hay demand has returned to normal levels expected in July, but it is welcomed.
Hay prices remain unchanged this week.
For some, the prospects of selling all their 2016
Sellers are receiving calls from in Queensland but few are prepared to travel such a distance to unknown buyers.
coming from buyers near Junee, in the north-east between Mitta Mitta and Corryong, as well as dairy farmers in the Goulburn and Murray Valleys.
The cheap paddock-stacked hay in the Wimmera has caught buyer attention.
Hay growers in the Southern Tablelands of NSW, who normally sell to buyers in the Mitta Mitta Valley, have been tempted by the cereal hay for sale under $100 a tonne ex farm plus GST.
It seems 2017 is a tough year to sell hay into Victoria.
This improvement in potential demand has been a long time coming.
Hay growers reckon 2017 has been one of the lowest production before spring is looking unlikely.
As most hay growers operate a number of agricultural enterprises, including grain, sheep and beef, growers are able to manage the lack of cash flow from hay sales this year.
Long-term hay growers remain patient and quietly confident that market conditions can change quickly and all hay will eventually find a buyer.
Looking forward, the July to September outlook for the Goulburn Valley and north-east of Victoria and the Riverina looks equally dry, with the chance of achieving median rainfall put at less than 25%.
DRY CONDITIONS: Hay producers say demand is still low.