Ongoing Drought Causes Australia To Prep For Another Year Of High Feed Prices

Australian livestock feed producers warn of rising costs for feed production as the drought gripping many parts of the country shows minimal signs of abating. Longtime producer Brett Caddy of Southern Cross Feeds says that the impact of the drought on feed production is “frightening” and it’s the worst he’s ever seen.

Though Caddy is hopeful that cereal grains like oats and barley may drop in price, he notes that the cots of lucerne hay and corn will likely increase, making feeding horses even more costly. As these products need copious amounts of water to grow well, Caddy says he expects horse trainers see an increase in cost by Christmas.

Some of the growers who have provide product for Caddy for years have told him they won’t be putting out a crop next year; they intend to sell the water they have to make a profit.

An avid supporter of racing, Caddy is encouraging trainers to pass the increased feed cost on to owners; in turn, he’s asking owners to support their trainers during this financially stressful time. He hopes that the additional fees can be removed once the drought is over. Earlier this year, the Australian Trainers’ Association recommended all trainers review and consider increasing their training fees as horse feed and hay costs were rising so rapidly.

It’s estimated that Australia’s crop yields have decreased by 25 percent in 2019. This caused increases of between 25 and 100 percent for thinks like Lucerne chaff, feed, oats and hay. These additional feed costs were estimated to be an additional $2 to $4 per horse, per day.

Though hay and grain supplies are expected to be higher in Victoria in the coming year, crop yields elsewhere are expected to be low, which will cause the price of feed to remain high.


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