E.M.Redmond & Co produce manager Tim Schulz.
E.M.Redmond & Co produce manager Tim Schulz.

Hay, fodder price hikes likely as winter dry season begins

HIGHER fodder prices are expected to accompany this year’s winter, with the enduring drought and dry conditions making it difficult for hay and feed suppliers to recover.

“The hay price today, I’ve been talking to them, it’s gotten dearer again today, so I think you’re going to see dear hay prices right through winter,” E.M.Redmond & Co produce manager Tim Schulz said.

“It’ll be short with the green hay, I’ve been talking to a few folks who are already having trouble getting it in.”

He said it was the same story every winter, as there was simply not enough water for growers to produce enough to meet demand.

“When the seasons are bad and you’re not getting much water, in winter they’re getting half the cuts, so their cost has gone through the roof,” Mr Schulz said.

“There’s been a bit of rain around in places, but the problem we have out here is the little bit of rain we got didn’t help them. They were all starting to run out of water at the end.”

READ MORE: Farmers still fighting on in drought-declared areas

Despite the dire conditions in the Lockyer Valley, better rainfall elsewhere in the country has led to a surplus of some products.

“I do believe there’s a lot of sorghum out on the Downs, and out west,” he said.

“I was talking to someone, and they reckon sorghum prices are going to come down, so there must be some of that.”

Even with the shortages brought on by the dry season, and added difficulties introduced by the current lockdown restrictions, he said he was able to get in most stock without issue.

READ MORE: Price rises put feed industry in peril

“They’re not too bad, we don’t seem to have any trouble getting it in, so they must be finding it somewhere,” he said.

“A while back there you had a bit of a wait to get your orders, but now we don’t seem to have too much trouble.”

With local supplies limited, imports are the main source of some products, with COVID-19 restrictions introducing an element of uncertainty to the delivery of products.

“The big merchants overseas who buy it and bag it, they could have a bit of drama with that, but we just ring up and order it,” he said.

“If they’ve got it they’ve got it, and if they haven’t, they haven’t.”