Hay shortage forecast for autumn

By Rodney Woods

Hay is being trucked to northern states at a frantic pace, igniting concerns about autumn fodder supplies.

Australian Fodder Industry Association chief executive officer John McKew cautioned hay buyers that despite a bumper yield in parts of Victoria, South Australia and the NSW Riverina, fodder supplies should not be taken for granted.

AFIA has revised its market forecast and now anticipates a shortage of fodder by as early as March or April, without a widespread and adequate autumn break.

Initial forecasts from the peak fodder industry body estimated there would be enough hay to supply the nation until winter.

This revision follows ongoing dry conditions and unprecedented northern market demand for southern hay.

“If you require hay in autumn, act now to secure it,” Mr McKew said.

“During spring, hay prices softened marginally but we’ve recently seen consecutive weeks of market stabilisation — an indicator that demand is meeting supply.

“There’s still a lot of hay in western and central Victoria as well as south-east South Australia, but all reports suggest it’s being snapped-up quickly by those in drought-affected regions.”