Hay demand increases as pastures begin to dry out

Hay demand increases as pastures begin to dry out

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Cereal and canola hay is being south by South Australian farmers as the dry continues.

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Protein and cereal hay demand is evident and canola hay is also available this year.

Demand appears more evident across the northern Adelaide Plains and through the central and Murray regions where pastures have all but dried off.

This demand is occurring for lamb and sheep feed.

Barley, fodder and sheep pellet inquiries have emerged as extensive livestock farmers continue to earn excellent returns from their wool and lamb operations.

Interestingly there appears to be hay movements again out of the south-east; lucerne hay is moving into Vic and there are reports of some hay movements, again, to NSW and southern Qld.

Much of NSW remains very dry with many farmers waiting on some decent rains without any heat, to enable pastures to start growing.

Parts of SA’s dry north, notably the northern Adelaide Plains and Riverland areas, finally had some rainfall through thunderstorm activity last week.

Isolated places recorded 10 millimetres to 15mm of rain with Blanchetown having 16mm. 

Other eastern parts of SA had 1-5mm; this rain will have minimal if any effect on the ongoing parched pastures.

Rains in early February are not seen as an autumn break for SA’s agricultural areas but at least it shows that rain events can still occur.

The Bureau of Meteorology has updated its El Nino models.

While the latest outlooks from the eight surveyed models show a mixed signal for the coming months, for the moment there is no discernible trends suggesting an El Nino event is evident.

More clarity will occur once autumn arrives.

Most of the west and the South East missed out on last week’s rain.

Paddocks are becoming progressively bare across many parts of the state’s pastoral areas.

Summer crops across the South East are in need of rain and many are starting to struggle.

Farmers have already moved stock onto the summer fodder crops as the short term prospects for rain remain unlikely.

More positive news on global dairy markets last week with another solid lift in global dairy prices as prices at the Global Dairy Trade auction recording its biggest jump in more than two years.

The Global Dairy Trade price index lifted 6.7 per cent – its biggest increase since November 2016.

The cause of this lift in prices appears to be building concerns about a pending drought in New Zealand, impacting on their dairy production.

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