Johnson Asahi operations manager Tony Huebner said that it is still another strong year for high-quality Australian hay despite some early rain events in the year.
"We've had some good years over the last few years, people have been able to grow their hay and do with it what they please," he said.
In spite of domestic demand easing because of good rain, export demand continues to be strong, although unlikely to provide a home for all fodder stocks in the region.
Mr Huebner said the only concern is farmers having too much supply for the demand.
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"For export, it has been business as usual for us," he said.
"We have hay from last year. We've put it in our depot shed, stored it. Farmers have stored it.
"We've had no issues there."
He said the domestic market came to a standstill.
"The domestic market was quite quiet," Mr Huebner said.
"They've grown it to sell either south or north, but there is no real market for domestic hay."
Mr Huebner said the hay quality from Australia is what attracts overseas buyers.
Johnson Asahi exports only oats and hay fodder, but many farmers might have vetch and cereal. So when driving around in the Wimmera, sheds full of hay can always be spotted.
Farmers across the Wimmera and Grampians sell to Johnson Asahi. From across to Bordertown to up to Hopetoun and some towards Ararat as well.
"They're busy preparing to put their crop in and waiting for rain to do its job," Mr Huebner said.
Mr Huebner said the only cause for concern with rain this time of year is rain at the wrong time.
"If it got overly wet and got downgraded, you'd have a lot of hay that's similar quality," he said.
"If we can supply a good cross-section of our hay into the market, the market will take it."
Johnson Asahi does approximately 90,000 tonnes a year.
Mr Hueber said with good weather and good practices, the last two years have been good for hay like it has for wheat.
"You still need to be able to sell it, and that's not always plain sailing," he said.
Having an abundance of hay can lead to an oversupply which can lead to a lower price.
"It's hard to say if that will be the case this year, we had that early rain but we haven't had much since," Mr Huebner said.
Hay export is a 12-month round business due to the overseas market.
Square bales weigh between 600 to 750 kilos, and prices are weighed per tonne. The average cost for premium grade hay is $200 per tonne.
Mr Huebner said the most significant impact on price fluctuation is drought.
"Now farmers up in New South Wales and Queensland have had rain and have feed grow, the price has come back to normal," Mr Huebner said.
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