Fodder includes a wide range of crop and pasture species that are grown, harvested and lightly processed for both on-farm use and domestic export trade. Fodder production includes hay and silage of all types (pasture, cereal, Lucerne, clover and others), chaff (coarsely chopped dried whole plants), vetch and pelletised feed.
Around one third of all Australian commercial scale farms (38,000 properties) make hay each year. On average around 70 per cent of fodder used on Australian farms is produced on-farm. Domestically, fodder is consumed in the dairy, broad acre, horse, feedlot and horticulture sectors. Key export markets include Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan.
Swinging production volume trends and volatility in weather during curing and storage from season to season, places an emphasis on research and development to address the risks and provide mitigation measures for farmers. The industry has focused strongly on addressing market requirements, establishing new markets and developing a high quality product with the majority of growers producing hay and silage targeted at particular markets.